Continúa el movimiento en torno a Airbnb. Los gobiernos vigilan constantemente su modelo de negocio, puesto que está alterando el mercado del alquiler turístico y el turismo en sí. Por ello, la plataforma de alojamiento vacacional ha introducido cambios sustanciales en sus términos y condiciones, que entrarán en vigor automáticamente a partir del 25 de mayo de 2018. Los usuarios que se hayan dado de alta del día 16 de abril en adelante, entrarán bajo las nuevas condiciones.
Resulta interesante comprobar que no hay una sola mención a la palabra “alquiler” en el enorme tocho de términos y condiciones. En su lugar, la expresión elegida es “reserva”. De esta forma, Airbnb se aferra al concepto de prestador de servicios, y puede acogerse a su régimen de exclusión de responsabilidad. Todo recae sobre los anfitriones, los huéspedes y su cumplimiento de la legalidad vigente. Así que, en caso de reclamar algo, toca leerse las condiciones del servicio para saber a quién hay que dirigir la queja.
Cambios en los términos del servicio
Hasta el 27 de junio de 2018, todos los usuarios tienen a su disposición las condiciones actualizadas y los términos antiguos de Airbnb, para comprobar los cambios con todo detalle. En cualquier caso, Airbnb ha querido destacar las modificaciones más relevantes.
The company that facilitates the rental of tourist housing has changed its corporate structure. Thus, the service scopes specify that Airbnb is not an organizing or retail package travel company, and includes the European regulations that legally frame these activities. Likewise, it is exempt from all responsibility regarding commercial and rental actions carried out by host users . This independence classifies homeowners as independent third party contractors. They may not be considered employees or agents of Airbnb in any way. It is a limitation of the scope of Airbnb operations that did not appear in the old terms, and that can respond to the constant scrutiny of the countries in which the platform operates.
Likewise, Airbnb has included exceptions at various points in the terms of service, for the different countries of residence . This is due to differences in legal obligations, especially regarding the validity and termination of the contract.
The vacation accommodation page has also updated the terms to include new services and diversify payment methods . In this regard, useful fractional and group payment methods have been included that users should know if they want to take advantage of them. Also, provisions have been added regarding the Open Homes program. This new policy allows hosts to make their homes available to special guests, such as refugees from war.
Hosts of experiences are only subject to current laws
To clarify the terms for all users, Airbnb has transferred the conditions for experience hosts to a specific section. In addition to eliminating redundancies, the organizers are required to acquire all the necessary measures for the experiences to develop optimally. These provisions include a commitment to meet minimum quality standards and validity requirements . The guest user could feel a bit more protected with these movements, although, in reality, all the responsibility falls on the hosts, and the only obligation that is imposed is that of the current legislation in the corresponding country. So you have to continue to be careful with careless or inconsiderate owners.
Changes to Airbnb payment terms
The terms and conditions section of any service is a mess that few read. Which, by the way, is very bad. But as far as possible, Airbnb wants to clear things up a bit. To differentiate between the rental platform and the Airbnb Payments payment and collection platform, some payment terms for the service have been included in the general terms and conditions . For example, matters relating to currencies and rounding, in case of currency conversion.
As each country of residence has its own legislation, the texts have been revised according to this logic. Similarly, a clause has been included in which the user is informed that they consent to Airbnb Payments making the inquiries that the tourist accommodation company deems pertinent. This includes the necessary maneuvers to comply with the law on the prevention of money laundering.
The clause concerning co-hosts is removed. For the purposes of payments and rate agreements, they count as hosts. Financial terms for guests have also been simplified. On the other hand, payment authorizations have been grouped into a single section . It is something that should be read carefully, since a user (be it a tourist guest or host) can incur a debt with Airbnb inadvertently. The payment authorization clause makes continuous reference to the terms and conditions of the service. Specifically, to the obligation of its fulfillment, if we do not want to pay more than the bill. In this sense, Airbnb has enabled a force majeure policy, which covers certain exceptions and exemptions.
Attention to abandoned properties
Airbnb has included a specific section on abandoned properties. Those that are not claimed will be confiscated by the corresponding jurisdiction. The clause is quite succinct, and refers to the legislation of the country in question . Any claim for abandoned property must go through the corresponding governing body. It is a no-brainer, but you have to go through all your belongings before leaving the accommodation.
On the other hand, Airbnb may share the data with third parties, in order to provide travel assistance and other types of facilities. At other times, you have no choice but to share the data, as in the case of Airbnb China. Even if we don't live in China, if we post an ad, book, or deal with a host who has an ad in China, our data goes to Airbnb China . The Chinese government has these things.
But don't let all this stun you. If you have a trip planned on your vacation and you are going to use Airbnb to stay, relax and enjoy. Travel responsibly. But enjoy.