Monday, February 5, 2018
Millennials are losing interest in ownership. They prefer to access property when needed on a casual, short-term basis. Prompted by the sharing economy, online platforms, and ethical consumerism, access presents a radical alternative to established property forms. This type of property use is popular among younger, technology-savvy generations. It prioritizes use, flexibility, and mobility over the control, stability, and attachment that is associated with traditional property forms. Despite its recent prominence, access has remained surprisingly undertheorized, especially from a property perspective. This Article fleshes out the normative values and the concerns ingrained in this emerging property form. In addition, it critically evaluates the legal and regulatory response to access. It argues that the law continues to steer users towards ownership or other forms of long-term possession, significantly limiting the option of access. Accordingly, it calls for reevaluating insurance, tax, zoning, and anti-discrimination laws.