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The Journal September 2019

The Rise of Airbnb, Boosted by Regulatory Precariousness

Manel Pérez Taboada

Only a decade ago there were very few travelers in the world who planned their trips without thinking of a hotel. Airbnb was born in San Francisco in 2008 and, pioneer in the field of accommodation based on the concepts of the collaborative economy, has spread and massified until reaching the present times, in which there are very few travelers in the world who plan their trips without thinking of Airbnb.

As with all new things, the Law is late. And not because of bad intentions, but because the institutional creation of laws takes time. This is how, of course, the vast majority of the laws that regulate our civil life were written when these innovations still did not exist.

"Orphan" Drugs

Gloria Gelosa

A drug is called “orphan” when it is intended for treating rare diseases. The definition of a rare disease is essential to better understand the concept of orphan drug. A disease is not common when it afflicts less than 5 people in 10.000 in Europe, while in the USA less than 200.000 people have to suffer from a disease to be able to call it rare.

The fact that the orphan drug treats rare diseases has an important consequence: the manufacturing costs are really high (166 million on average) but the chances of recouping the money invested are extremely limited due to the scarce number of consumers (patients). This situation deters the pharmaceutical industries from investing in this kind of products.

The Game of Malls. What Is Dead May Never Die

Brian Judge

It’s no secret that consumers have been shifting away from shopping at traditional brick-and-mortar stores in favor of shopping online. Nor that the shift in consumers’ shopping habits has resulted in a wave of store closures in malls throughout the U.S. over the last several years.  The trend has led some long-time retail analysts like Jan Kniffen, to proclaim that, with some exceptions, the mall is more or less dead. 

The actual number of store closures puts things into perspective.  A report just released Wednesday by consulting firm BDO USA LLP indicates that U.S. retailers closed more than 7,000 stores from January to June of 2019 – more stores than U.S. retailers closed in all of 2018.  

Fitness for Habitation: A Short Guide

Lee Stafford

On 20 December 2018 the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 (“the 2018 Act”) was given royal assent and on 20 March 2019 it came into force. The 2018 Act amends the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 (“the 1985 Act”).

Essentially, fit for human habitation means that a dwelling must be safe, healthy and free from things that could cause serious harm to a tenant. Accordingly, landlords, and letting agents acting on their behalf, will now be required by law to ensure that a rented home is fit for human habitation from the beginning and throughout the duration of the tenancy. This obligation cannot be avoided or contracted out of by the landlords.