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National

A New Argument In The Debate Over Airbnb: Stranger Danger

[huffpost.com – 6/26/19]

“With a revolving door of strangers coming and going from short-term rental properties, tools like sex offender lists are becoming obsolete,” wrote Stacie Rumenap, president of the nonprofit Stop Child Predators, in a guest column last March in the Knox News in Knoxville, Tennessee. “There is no safeguard in place to stop a child predator from renting an Airbnb property next door.”

At the time, Tennessee lawmakers were considering whether to forbid cities across the state from regulating short-term rentals. Rumenap wrote that if the legislation passed, “the term ‘Stranger Danger’ will take on a whole new meaning for parents in Tennessee as the community fabric of neighborhoods across the state will be fractured and local schools, parents and children will have to contend with more complete strangers in their neighborhoods.”

Tennessee was not the only battle in Stop Child Predators’ war against short-term rentals. Throughout 2018 and into 2019, the group has published nearly identical op-eds and letters to the editor in Miami and Washington, D.C., and participated in anti-Airbnb campaigns in Los Angeles, Boston and San Diego. Starting in June 2018, the group’s Facebook page dedicated itself almost exclusively to supporting local efforts to restrict short-term rentals. In May 2019 alone, Stop Child Predators posted more than two dozen advertisements related to legislation in Hawaii that would loosen the state’s existing regulations and allow more Airbnb units to come onto the market.

“How would you feel,” the group writes on its page about the Hawaii bill, “if you are a parent of young children, about your kids playing outside in the cul-de-sac, riding bikes or playing ball when you have no idea who is renting out the place next door and have no real way of finding out?”

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  1. Phony Nonprofit

    I don’t believe this summary of the article captures the spirit of the article it links to. The linked article is saying that the Stop Child Predators nonprofit is a tool of the hotel industry. It is using fear tactics to encourage regulation of AirBNB.

  2. Bruce Ferrell

    Except AirBnB cross checks the various registries at time a client account is established. Like Facebook, their terms of service prohibit a registered citizen having a account.

    They may be calling the non-profit a tool of the hotel industry, but AirBnB itself does this.

  3. NY won’t let go

    Airbnb blocked mine and my wife’s accounts. 😑

    • Relief

      @NY wont let go: Sorry to hear you were blocked. Was this recently? Or since you moved overseas? Or before you left?

      I believe you said you are still “listed” in the NSOR but only by name and “~moved out of country” (?) Curious, is your birth date also listed? Not sure when Airbnb banned, but a name-only listing in the NSOR may not be quite as problematic if there’s not other identifying info.

      Again, completely wrong for them to still list you at all!

      • NY won’t let go

        This is recently like the past couple months. My wife’s was just a few days ago.

        On The NSOR it doesn’t have an age or anything listed besides the name.

        The NY one on the other hand pops right up when you punch my name in google. Due to one of those sites like homefacts.

        It’s funny because it shows that my current country is within NY somehow 🤷‍♂️

        • Relief

          @NY Won’t let go- Ah ok, you are also on the NY State site. That would explain the Airbnb.

          There might be a slight benefit of not having this full info on the NSOR since the IML, for travel notices and passport revocation appears to be based on a match to the NSOR. My guess (only a guess as no one is certain) is without a birthdate and offense details (a minor) on the NSOR, you should likely be OK on your future passport renewals / extensions (and notice-free travel).

          You should review the actual codified law (not just the bill, HR515) specifically see 42 USC 16935b section (e)(1) “Activities” and (e)(5) “Passport Application Review” since this is important in your case.

          Here is the Link:

          https://www.smart.gov/pdfs/resources/International%20Megan's%20Law-As%20Codified.pdf

          Good luck

  4. AJ

    OMG, what are we going to do? Even if we stop AirBnb, what if these things called hotels and motels are nearby malls and shopping? And if we regulate those, what if these things called cars, motorcycles, and trucks are allowed near our children? And if we regulate those, what about these places called parks? And if we regulate….

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