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Most Americans Who've Heard Of Airbnb Believe It Should Be Legal, Study Finds

Of the few Americans who have heard there's a debate, most are in favor of permitting peer-to-peer rentals.

[Photo: Flickr user Brad.K]

Only about 22% of respondents to a Pew Research Center study published Thursday had heard about the debate surrounding home-sharing services such as Airbnb, but the overwhelming majority of those respondents who knew about the controversy thought that the peer-to-peer hospitality websites should be legal.

In some cities, such as New York, it is illegal to sublease an entire home for fewer than 30 days, and sites like Airbnb face legal challenges in many major cities, including New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles.

Whether or not Pew’s respondents thought that sharing-economy hosts should be subject to taxes, 82% agreed that they should be permitted to operate.

Americans were much more divided when it came to their opinions on Uber's and Lyft’s regulatory challenges. Almost half (48%) of respondents had heard something about those debates, with 42% of them saying that ride-hailing apps should not be required to follow the same rules as taxis with 35% saying the opposite. (The remaining 23% were not sure how they felt.)

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