Services like Airbnb have transformed the travel and vacation enterprise. Hotels aren’t the only options anymore. People have choices and can specify exactly what they want in a vacation.Vacationers expect to get exactly what they want – and if a hotel doesn’t have that, they can stay somewhere else. A tenant can earn some passive income by their extra room. A tenant can rent out your property without your permission.
Airbnb started making waves as more property managers and owners realized that people were using it to illegally sublet. Many claimed ignorance,however, knowingly or not, it is still subletting without permission.
Why Should You Care?
Airbnb is a huge business,so there’s a fair chance one of your tenants (or prior tenants) have used it. Although most property owners and homeowner’s associations tend to stick to a strictly anti-subleasing stance, not every landlord shares the same sentiment.
Why Some Landlords Accept Subleasing on Airbnb
It Helps Pay Rent
Extra Revenue Through Subletting Fees
For tenants who recently lost a job, or are going through a health scare, hosting vacationers for a quick weekend stay may help tenants in a bind for rent money. Depending on the location (and your city’s landlord-tenant laws), landlords who allow the occasional sublet can negotiate with their tenant to include a subletting fee.With that taken into account, pro-airbnb landlords reap the benefits of more secure rent payments and the subletting fee. Some may even see it as a relief that their residents have a backup plan to make sure they can keep up with rent.
If letting your tenants utilize a subletting service aids in tenant happiness and on-time rent payments, a weekend rental may not be the worst thing ever.
Why Most Landlords Don't Accept Subleasing
A lot of property owners aren’t interested in subletting services. When someone rents your property, they go through your tenant screening process that abides by your specific rental criteria. It’s your job to make sure anyone and everyone who lives under your roof, and in your property’s community, can feel a certain degree of safety and comfort.
Airbnb and similar services are not going to do that for you. If one of the guests happens to be dangerous, and something bad happens to your tenants – the host or not – then you could be liable. Not to mention, an altercation could form some bad PR with your neighbors.
Can You Find Out?
That’s difficult to say. The problem lies with a safety feature Airbnb uses to protect renters. It’s a sensible feature, one that no one is asking for Airbnb to remove, but it does make it more difficult for landlords. The company hides all addresses until an agreement has been made.
To find out if your own property is being rented out against your will, you’ll have your work cut out for you. The US Airbnb has over 660,000 listings in the country alone. There are over 65,000 cities listed – right now, Airbnb New York is one of the most popular locations.
88% of Airbnb reservations are for two to four people. That means if your tenants are having multiple people over for extended periods of time, granting that Airbnb guests tend to stay longer than others, it can be a cause for concern. Senior citizens are noted to being one of the fastest growing hosts in the market, but 60% of all guests’ are millennials. Be sure to check out localized statistics of Airbnb in your area. Don’t just guess, make an educated, thought out and well-informed estimation.
Three Ways to Keep Track
Being proactive is important when it comes to taking care of your property. Keep calm, but vigilant.
- Intelligence. Being a part of the gossip can help you find out what’s going on in your own property. Get in touch with the neighbors and invite them to call you if there is any trouble.
- Keep updated. Sites like insideairbnb.com collects localized data. It will visually show by the city data with percentages. For example, in June, 2019, Ashville, North Carolina had 2,170 listings. It will also show on a map where those hosts are. They even have the first names of top Airbnb hosts in that area, and have Airbnb calendars up for downloads. That might be a good sign!
- Subletalert.com will alert you if your property has been loaded on to Airbnb. It monitors several short-term rental websites and sends emailed alerts if a tenant illegally sublets your property.
Your Rights & What to do Next
Remember the power of the contract. If you find out your tenant is subletting, take time to remind them of their lease’s terms. If they are breaking their lease and refuse to stop, you can take further action depending on local law. Airbnb has the capability to ‘deactivate’ or ‘snooze’ a location, so any tenant should be able to remove listings.
Make sure you know local city laws before taking your next step.
As the wording of a leasing agreement can vary wildly from building to city to state, seek legal counsel to go over the specific steps you can take via cease and desists or evictions. Local law has become more and more aware of the issues surrounding Airbnb and similar short-term leasing services, and can require legal registration, permits, and IDs. Airbnb even has their own list of local law considerations, including zoning rules, licenses, special permits, and taxes. Your tenants could be breaking more than just your lease when it comes to subletting and you may have more power than you anticipated, make sure you take every power you have access to with legal help.
What's your biggest concern when it comes to short-term renting on your property?
Let us know in the comments!