Airbnb under fire for incentivising tenants to break the terms of their leases

US based Apartment Investment & Management Company (Aimco) responsible for the management and ownership of around 50,000 properties, is suing Airbnb, claiming that the company is wilfully incentivising people to breach their lease agreement.

Airbnb

Aimco filed the lawsuit in Florida and California courts at State level and is seeking compensation directly from Airbnb. In a move being closely watched by other property management firms, Aimco is also looking for court orders that will permanently stop Airbnb from enabling people to break their leases.

Landlords of course have been suspicious and wary of Airbnb since its inception. Airbnb works by letting individuals rent out spare space in their homes to paying guests. Initially the company became well known for letting travellers effectively rent a couch in someone’s living room informally for cash. As the company grew however, people soon began renting out rooms, apartments and multi roomed houses.

Could Airbnb Guests Post A Security Risk To Residents?

Aimco CEO Terry Considine said in a statement:

“It is not acceptable to us that Airbnb actively promotes and profits from deliberate breaches of our leases, and does so in utter disregard of the disrespectful and unsafe situations created for our full-time residents and their families… We are asking the courts to compensate Aimco for our losses and to enjoin Airbnb from participation in further illegal activity at our properties so that our law-abiding residents can enjoy a high-quality living experience.”

Aimco says that it told Airbnb three times last year that listings for properties being rented on the platform, that it owned, were violating the terms of their leases.  Aimco also alleges that Airbnb effectively chose to ignore their repeated requests for action, and continued to allow the listings.

As part of the lawsuit that was filed, Aimco has also claimed that Airbnb’s “transient” guests could pose security risks to other residents, as their backgrounds had not been checked.  Aimco residents must undergo credit and background checks before being allowed to rent from the company. Airbnb, like hotels, doesn’t require any form of background reviews before people can rent.

Airbnb have said that they will fight the case, and that they believe the issue is between Aimco and the people who signed the leases.