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Landlords want a share of renters’ Airbnb revenue

Thu 17 Dec 2015

Airbnb logo and landing page

A group of leading U.S. property owners, including AvalonBay Communities and Camden Property Trust, have met with lodging rental site Airbnb to discuss ways that they can get a cut of their renters’ income.

“A lot of our hosts are renters,” said Airbnb spokesman Christopher Nulty. “Any solution we would be able to identify would be a win-win-win for everyone involved.”

The tech company has faced obstacles to its growth, with residents putting their leases in jeopardy by renting out their places to Airbnb users as temporary accommodation – a form of illegal subletting.

A future agreement between owners and tenants could see renters no longer need to take a risk when letting their apartments on the site. Airbnb, which started out as a couch surfing-style accommodation listing platform, has now become one of the world’s fastest growing startups and a true threat to the hotel industry. It has a presence in 57,000 global cities and counts over 640,000 registered hosts worldwide.

David Santee, chief operating officer at Equity Residential, commented: “You just can’t turn your head or keep your head in the sand over what’s going on. [We need] a way to figure out how everybody can coexist, bring transparency and figure out a way that everybody can win.”

However, some experts have argued that expanding the Airbnb concept will only work to harm the housing market – keeping properties away from potential tenants. “I’m sort of appalled that Airbnb thinks the next answer to their problem of not running a legal business is to try to convince some number of landlords […] that they can get in on the deal,” said New York State senator and vocal opponent Liz Krueger.

Others have pointed out the fire and safety requirements met by hotels and other accommodation providers, which are not taken into account in private apartments.

Landlords also complain that they cannot vet Airbnb guests, running the risk of issues such as parties, noise and troublemaking.


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