Some “affordable housing”/squatting enthusiasts in San Francisco are encouraging the stratagem of renting someone’s apartment for a night or two on AirBnB, declining to leave, and settling in for what might prove a prolonged process of eviction under the city’s highly pro-tenant landlord-tenant laws. [San Francisco Bay Guardian, with comments questioning whether even San Francisco's law would actually reward such a ploy, via @marketurbanism]
Following the rules wherever they lead? The newly installed alarms did promptly catch a guest smoking in a cleaning closet. [Independent]
Because you thought he was some kind of big privacy advocate or something? “Attorney General Eric Schneiderman subpoenaed the data as part of an investigation into the website stemming from a 2010 law that makes it illegal to use such sites to rent out your own apartment.” He says he’s after the 15,000 or so customers who used the service to let guests stay on their premises for a fee. Next: Craigslist? [New York Daily News, Matt Welch/Reason]
“A federal appeals court has tossed a $10 million defamation suit by a resort in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., that was ranked No. 1 on a 2011 ‘dirtiest hotels’ list by TripAdvisor.” The Sixth Circuit “said the list is opinion protected by the First Amendment.” [ABA Journal, Digital Media Law]
Expanding, as is so often the case, at the expense of the rights of contract and property: “Australia’s hotel industry has been rocked by a court’s ruling that a prostitute was illegally discriminated against by a motel owner who refused to rent her a room to work from. The ruling has stunned hotel and motel owners, who thought they had a right to decide what sort of businesses were operating from their premises. … Prostitution is legal in Queensland, and discrimination based on lawful sexual activity is outlawed.” [Telegraph, U.K.]
Discussion: Catallaxy Files (“Australia’s leading libertarian and centre-right blog”).
“Renting your bedroom to a stranger is probably against the law in most cities. It’s time to change that.” And yes, hotels are lobbying against the idea. [Matthew Yglesias, Slate]
“[An Indiana appeals] court has found that an ever so slightly negligent (2%) business owner needs to pay for 99% of the harm caused by a murderer. Citing the Restatement (Third) of Torts. Section 14, a public policy in favor of adequately compensating the wronged … and the difficulty murderers have in procuring insurance to cover their rampages, the appellate court in Santelli v. Rahmatulla found that the Restatement provides a handy way of escaping Indiana’s reform of its joint and several liability rule.” [David Oliver] More: Point of Law (motel “[adhered] to the non-discriminatory EEOC principle of not performing criminal background checks”).
Following a substantial outcry (see Mar. 14), the Department of Justice has announced a 60-day stay of its new regulations requiring costly lifts and other fixes at hotel pools. It will also consider a six-month extension to address what it insufferably describes as “misunderstandings regarding compliance with these ADA requirements.” Translation: “opponents were persuading the public that the mandate was unreasonable.” Hotel and insurance officials had confirmed that many operators were considering closing pools or smaller water features such as whirlpools, which must often be given their own separate permanent lift installations under the rules. [Barbara De Lollis, USA Today] On the notion that it doesn’t pay lawyers to sue over uncompliant hotel pools, see this 2007 coverage of what was even then a busy litigation docket in California and elsewhere.
The EEOC says Comfort Suites dismissed the clerk when it should instead have accepted the services of a state-paid “job coach” who might have “helped the clerk learn to master his job by using autism-specific training techniques.” [EEOC press release, Fox San Diego]
“A guest at a Hilton hotel in Santa Rosa who was upset that he was billed 75 cents for a newspaper he assumed was free has filed a federal class-action lawsuit against the hotel chain, saying he was deceived by a scheme that also hurts the environment.” [San Francisco Chronicle] More: Jeff Bercovici, Forbes.