Hospitality Today Christmas 2016 - Jan 2017 - Page 11

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Many travel and tourism industry commentators are hoping that a case will come to court to test Airbnb ’ s claim to have no responsibility in such circumstances .
In November at a Policy UK event , Airbnb ’ s head of policy Patrick Robinson was asked whether , when a Fire & Rescue Authority ( FRA ) requests that premises owners be identified , Airbnb provides the identifications necessary to allow that FRA to do its duty to protect the public . Robinson admitted that Airbnb would refuse all such requests without a court order .
However , Richard Nye of the Policy Group within London Fire Brigade admits that they ( in common with other FRAs ) never ask Airbnb – it seems they don ’ t want to ‘ discover ’ vast numbers of new premises they may have to inspect , when they have insufficient resources to inspect the ones they already know about .
As 50,000 premises in London alone are beyond regulatory enforcement - because only Airbnb can identify the premises owners – will the next tragedy be a fire ? And who will be responsible ?