Tenant renting out unit on AirBNB?? - St. Louis

8 Replies

I own a duplex in Tower Grove. (St. Louis MO) 

Over the weekend we found out that my tenant had been renting out her extra room on AirBnB. In her lease it clearly states that this isn't allowed, and this morning we sent a text verifying that this must be stopped immediately. She agreed. I don't trust that she's going to stop right away, as she stated that she has quite a few weekends already booked. 

Has anyone had this happen? I'm buying camera's currently to help track the traffic that comes in and out of the house. (want to verify that not all guests are showing up with suitcases etc)

We found out this was happening because a man walked into my unit thinking it was his AirBNB and it was just my girlfriend home. You can imagine that this worries me as I don't necessarily want strangers in and out of the residence all the time/even have to worry about this. Heck of a ride so far for being my first property!  

Has anyone personally ran into this?.. Would love some incite. 

Thanks, Adam

Hmm... I haven't run into this as a landlord, but when I was renting, I totally did this! Luckily, there were never any issues and everything turned out fine, but as a landlord, I definitely would not allow it. My default statement is talk to a lawyer, since if she keeps doing it, she is breaking the lease. I would let her know that you are putting cameras up and will be tracking who is coming or going- maybe double check the lease and make sure that there is a provision for overnight guests in case she tries to pull that card (usually leases specify how often and for how many nights). If your state is pretty landlord-friendly, you may not have a problem evicting over this, but hopefully, once she knows that you are super serious about the no-Airbnb policy, she will stop. It is also worth contacting Airbnb about- mention that she is breaking the lease (Airbnb says you must have owner permission to rent out a leased unit when you sign up) and see if they put a stop on her account or something. 

Hope that helps!

@Adam Horvath I am also on my first property as well, and I added a Short Term Rental clause in my lease.  It basically stated that if they wanted to do short term rentals they would need to do 3 things:

-Notify us that it was going to happen.

-Use a qualified site like Airbnb or VRBO, not craigslist.

-Donate 10% of the income to the property, which would be used to qualifying upgrades.

So my goals with this was to not be surprised by it happening, have airbnb (or similar) screen the guests, and share in the benefit of someone generating money off of my investment.  I would funnel that cash into the unit so it didn't feel like I had my hand out, which I guess I kinda do but it feels a little less greedy that way.

I havent had to use this yet, but this is how I hope it plays out if I do.

Good luck

Pretty simple as far as I go - I would terminate anyone doing this more than once, after I gave them notice. If anyone is going to AirBnB my property, it's going to be me. 

@Kyle Eckert Thanks for the info. What do you do about the liability of having strangers come and go all the time? 

If something were to happen to one of the guests (god forbid but we know it happens) who would cover it? 

Does it fall under your homeowners insurance or does AirBNB cover the liability? This was my main concern. Did you have to draft a permit for this or get permission from the city? 

@Adam Horvath  

I didn't really think that far into it since I haven't actually encountered it happening yet.  I just wanted to have some signed verbiage in the lease so I would have legs to stand on if the situation presented itself.

https://www.airbnb.com/guarantee seems to hold promises you could ask Airbnb about your specific situation.  

To my knowledge, St. Louis has no laws about short term rentals yet.

Hope that helps.

There are lots of ways you can handle this IMO. First you have to decide whether you really want to consider this an option in the future to narrow down your options of handling this. 

If you don't want to deal with this in the future then just stick to what you've said to your tenant already. Tell her to cancel the other reservations and if she refuses or says she cant then terminate her lease or possibly charge her a fee is she has otherwise been a good tenant. You will have to set your foot down firmly on this otherwise it will just keep happening. Also I would add language to your lease the specifies any AirBnB type renting. 

If you dont mind dealing with this in the future and see it as possibly a little extra money on the side then you'll need to set it up right from the start. First go to your insurance company and see what they say and the increases in liability and premiums/payments. Also double checking your local city/state laws as you could then be charged hotel tax or other things. Maybe even call your attorney if things get too complex, which might persuade you to not do it. I would charge a fee (set price or percentage) that would cover any extra bills you incur as well as a profit margin. Nothing huge but enough to make it worth your troubles. 

Just some ideas for you. As for me I would not do this as I'm sure it would be more trouble than its worth. But I would not be living at any property that I rent out so I would not be there to have eye on all the time. Plus as much money as AirBnB can make its would be a second job for me and my purpose of rentals is for passive income not a second job. If I wanted a second job I'd go flip houses. Much more fun IMO.