Numerous North American cities have imposed restrictions on short-term housing rentals. A 2016 Techdirt article reported that municipalities in the United States aiming to restrict Airbnb and its hosts would be in violation of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which does not allow prosecution of Internet-based platforms based on a user failing to comply with local laws.
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Many landlords have complained and resisted long-term tenants who sublet their rented space on Airbnb and profit from it without consent from the landlord. In many cases, landlords cannot instantly evict their tenants for subletting because of rental laws. A similar law in Quebec that protects tenants also does not hold them legally eligible when subletting their rented spaces as landlords would in the case of long-term rental. In 2016, Airbnb offered to work with landlords whose tenants list their properties on and launched a program consisting of mutual agreements for subletting if the landlords agreed to it and that it was legal in their local municipalities.
In addition, Airbnb moved its main MySQL database to Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS). Airbnb chose Amazon RDS because it simplifies much of the time-consuming administrative tasks typically associated with databases. Amazon RDS allows difficult procedures, such as replication and scaling, to be completed with a basic API call or through the AWS Management Console. Airbnb currently uses Multi-Availability Zone (Multi-AZ) deployment to further automate its database replication and augment data durability.
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Working in software development and design, we are often required to ship one-off solutions. Sometimes we’re working within time constraints and sometimes we just haven’t yet agreed upon a path forward. These one-off solutions aren’t inherently bad, but if they aren’t built upon a solid foundation, we eventually find ourselves having to pay back accrued technical and design debts.
In November 2012, in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, Airbnb partnered with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to offer free housing for persons displaced by the storm. Airbnb built a microsite for this effort alone where victims register for housing and meet property owners with free housing. Additionally, Airbnb waived all service fees associated with these listings while maintaining the Host Guarantee for all properties listed.