Airbnb Wants To Get Into Bed With U.S. Landlords

airbnbwelcomeThough there are surely tenants out there renting their apartments out on Airbnb without their landlord’s blessing, the short-term rental site wants to get on the good side of apartment owners around the country. To that end, it’s reaching out to a few large companies with a lot of properties to see if all sides can work out something beneficial to all involved.

According to sources in the know cited by Bloomberg News, Airbnb is chatting up companies like Sam Zell’s Equity Residential, AvalonBay Communities Inc., and Camden Property Trust.

While Airbnb is in the crosshairs of many city governments (and cranky neighbors who are ticked off that there are strangers showing up with luggage in the building every weekend you’re gone), tenants — and landlords — know there’s money to be made.

“We know it’s taken off like crazy and we don’t want to ignore it,” Kristy Simonette, senior vice president of strategic services for Houston-based Camden Property, told Bloomberg. “We need to take a look at it and understand what all the opportunities are.”

Airbnb’s discussions with landlords are in early stages for now, but any agreement would likely include a plan to share the profits: when tenants rent out their home to strangers, the landlords would get a cut of the profits — and get to feel like they’ve got some control over the goings-on at their properties. Again, this is what would probably happen, because nothing has happened yet.

Any kind of partnership would also have to be worked out in cities where Airbnb’s presence isn’t hotly contested or its legality in question (ahem, New York City), which could include cities with home-sharing regulations like Philadelphia, Nashville and San Jose, CA, according to Bloomberg’s insider source.

A spokesman for Airbnb says “nothing is decided yet and we have no news to announce.”

“It would be news if we weren’t talking to landlords,” the spokesman said in a statement. “We are committed to working with everyone — hosts, policy makers, community groups, landlords and others — to ensure middle-class people can share their homes and contribute to their communities.”
Airbnb Seeks Blessing of U.S. Landlords for Tenants to Profit [Bloomberg]

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