Airbnb launches first hosting platform for apartment tenants

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Airbnb has partnered with several major landlords and management companies to list designated apartment buildings on the site where tenants may offer short-term subletting.

The company said Wednesday that a new page on its website will list so-called Airbnb-friendly buildings, which will allow renters to host their apartments just as homeowners can.

Typically, rental buildings prohibit tenants from subletting for short stays.

For starters, Airbnb lists 175 apartment buildings in more than 25 major markets, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Denver, Seattle, and Phoenix. Some cities, such as New York City and Washington, DC, are not available due to local restrictions on short-term rentals.

The platform helps tenants host their rental properties and helps the buildings attract tenants who may want to rent out. How much tenants could earn varies.

“It depends on the building, it depends on the location, there are a lot of different assumptions,” says Nathan Blecharczyk, co-founder of Airbnb.

Given that apartment rents have risen in recent years along with house prices and other rising prices, renters are increasingly looking for ways to supplement their income to make their monthly payments. Rents are starting to fall, but are still 10% higher than a year ago, according to Apartment List.

Last year, rents rose more than 15% compared to the previous year.

The new page on Airbnb’s website will also provide a calculator to show how much money the tenant could potentially make per month. The calculation changes depending on the number of bedrooms and nights each building allows, as well as the potential demand rents given the building’s amenities.

Apartment buildings may also charge the main tenant a fee of up to 20% of the price of each Airbnb use. For those buildings that have been in test mode so far, Airbnb said tenants have hosted an average of nine nights per month with an average income of $900 per month.

All landlords in participating buildings must be the main occupant and the buildings may limit how many nights per month the apartment can be sublet. That is generally between 80 and 120 nights per year. The restrictions, which can be enforced as transactions all take place on the portal, are designed to prevent investors from joining in and subletting the apartments full-time.

The owner or management company of the apartment building also has the right to review the listings before they go live and deactivate an listing if it does not meet the building’s standards. They can also authorize government ID for all possible subletters.

Equity Residential and UDR, apartment real estate investment trusts, or REITs, and Greystar, the largest apartment management company in the US, are among the big names offering apartments with hosting privileges on the new Airbnb platform.

“We believe this platform will provide both owners and occupiers with the right tools to effectively manage short-term rental business without impacting overall housing supply,” said a Greystar representative. “We are working with Airbnb on this innovative approach to participate in the 21st century sharing economy in a thoughtful way.”

CNBC producer Lisa Rizzolo contributed to this story.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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