Airbnb

Ulrik Binzer used to rent out his house north of San Francisco on Airbnb. It was enough money to pay for his family to fly to Denmark to visit relatives. But then his town suddenly banned short-term rentals.

Binzer says there was no debate — it was just an agenda item. "No one knew about it," he says.

It left him wondering: What's going on here?

That's how Binzer became a new sort of sheriff for the digital age.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

For the last handful of legislative sessions, the Texas Legislature has had it in for Austin and other cities.

GOP lawmakers who regularly thumb their noses at "big government"-minded efforts in D.C. have filed bills targeting city laws regulating everything from plastic bag usage to how residents preserve trees, arguing city laws in Austin create a so-called patchwork of onerous regulations.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

For years, short-term rentals – the rooms and homes on apps like Airbnb and HomeAway – have been the subject of lawsuits and hand-wringing on the part of regulators and people looking to rent out properties.

Emree Weaver / The Texas Tribune

When Amanda Bosky, a graduate student in sociology, goes to an academic conference, she often uses Airbnb to save money. Now the University of Texas at Austin student is worried that she can't anymore.

EFFIE YANG/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

As we reported several months ago, Texas has a policy that makes it illegal for state government entities to contract with companies that boycott Israel. A speech pathologist in Pflugerville ran afoul of the law because she refused to sign a pledge not to boycott Israel. Now, short-term rental company Airbnb has run into a similar conflict with the state's law.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Every Oct. 1, the City of Austin welcomes a new budget – and with it, new city fees. These can be anything from public library fines to what it costs to adopt a dog from the city shelter.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Becca Dobberfuhl has a name for her Bouldin Creek home.

“It’s all this rusty, rusty, rusty color,” she says. “And the house is a modern house, and it has a box-like look to it so we call it the ‘Rusty Box.’”

KUT News

Short-term rental website Airbnb has announced it wants to team up with cities throughout the country to collect taxes from people renting out rooms and homes on its website.