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The Sharing Economy on Trial

In the November 2014 issue of California Lawyer, adjunct lecturer Lisa Davis examines the legal landscape of Airbnb, the San Francisco company that connects potential guests online with private lodging in cities around the world.

“Around the globe, travelers and property owners by the thousands are using short-term rental websites like Airbnb,” Davis writes. “The idea of ‘home sharing’ has zealous devotees: It's often hailed as the only thing standing between hosts and homelessness, as a way to empower the little guy in a corporate world, and as a path to better cultural understanding, one traveler at a time — all of which might actually be true. But home sharing is testing new ground in the courts, local governments, and housing markets. It tests zoning and landlord-tenant laws, as well as the patience of many neighbors, and it is helping to reshape the nation's most competitive housing markets.”

Davis teaches journalism courses in the Communication Department. She is a freelance writer and author of The Sins of Brother Curtis: A Story of Betrayal, Conviction, and the Mormon Church

(Illustration by Randy Lyhus, courtesy of California Lawyer)

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