Trader Joe’s and Airbnb are engaged in a legal tussle. And it’s not because tenants are trying to rent out space in the produce aisle.
The grocery company is tired of Airbnb-affiliated people gathering outside of its San Diego stores asking for petition signatures.
According to a report from NBC San Diego, Trader Joe’s has a strict policy about not letting people loiter near its stores trying to accost customers. But that doesn’t seem to have stopped Airbnb, which has reportedly hired a consulting firm to help collect signatures in protest of a new law focused on short-term rental rules. That prompted the store last week to ask a judge to sign off on a restraining order, forbidding the sharing economy rental company from being on its premises.
Yesterday, Airbnb provided NBC San Diego this statement: “Today, the Judge declined to grant Trader Joe’s request. Tens of thousands of San Diegans signed a petition because they want fair, reasonable regulations that protect their right to share their homes and make ends meet.”
In its attempt to fight local legislations that would crack down on illegal short-term accommodations, Airbnb has begun implementing some drastic tactics to change public opinion. Beyond storming the streets of San Diego to receive thousands of signatures to fight that new bill, the company has also taken to New York to fight a similar law. In response to that legislation–which would require New York-based hosts to disclose their names and addresses–Airbnb released a scathing report detailing New York council members’ donations received from the hotel industry.
It seems Trader Joe’s isn’t too thrilled with these sorts of tactics, and decided to take the company to court. You can read the full report here.