- iOS, Android
Looking for a little apartment in Paris? Or do you regard your own home as good as any five-star hotel? Then the now world-famous Airbnb app (and website) is just the thing for you. People from all over the world can offer their houses for rent here. It works just like an ordinary hotel booking site: you search for a place to stay, indicate when you want to arrive and with how many people. If the owner agrees, the booking is made. The only difference is that you won’t be sleeping in a hotel but in someone’s home.
For the safety of both guests and landlords, Airbnb asks users to verify their identity, for example by linking their Airbnb profile to another social media profile and to upload a photograph from their passport or driving licence. The houses must also meet with certain criteria. The escape route must be clearly indicated, there must be a first-aid kit available, as well as a list of telephone numbers to call in case of emergency, and working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
Housing corporations and private landlords are not happy with the app. It is against the law to sublet rented accommodation without permission from the owner. A judge ruled last week that a citizen of Amsterdam is to be evicted from his home for having allowed tourists to stay there on a regular basis. City councils are also keeping an eye on Airbnb. Users seldom pay tourist tax, which means that the authorities lose out on a substantial revenues. Amsterdam wants to work together with the Airbnb company and hopes to be able to collect taxes from 2015.