General Landlording & Rental Properties

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David Oberlander
  • Investor
  • Valrico, FL
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Wow, my tenants have a 5 star "Host" rating on AirBnB! For my Property???

David Oberlander
  • Investor
  • Valrico, FL
Posted Jul 19 2015, 06:04

Good morning, BPers.  Hope your weekend is going better than mine.  As you can see by the subject line, tenants at one of my rental properties have decided to increase their income by renting out rooms at the house they rent from us.  It's a duplex.  The tenant next door called yesterday and told me he thought they were having various people coming and staying for the past month and that he hadn't seen either of the couple living there for a week.

It took less than five minutes to find the listing for our property on AirBnb and to start reading the 31 reviews they have received (almost a 5 star average) for the "property" they "own".  LOL  (no, actually I've been doing a slow burn for about 16 hours)

So, what do we do next?  As they are in violation of their lease, various city ordinances, building codes, etc I intend to shortly ride over there and slap a 7 day vacate notice on the front door.  Then should I sign up on AirBnb as a guest and leave a "review" telling people not to try booking a room at this "hotel" and that those who have booked up already need to request a refund?  Yes they have reservations booked thru September.  I'm sure my insurance company would love handling a claim from some one getting injured there.

The thing is I kind of like the AirBnB concept.  As I intend to add vacation rental properties to our holdings and use them for bookings.  But this proves to me that AirBnb has no way of verifying owners or renters at properties listed there.

Anybody else have this situation occur? Or have any suggestions or comments as I'm open to any ideas.

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Nancy Libby
  • Newfane, VT
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Nancy Libby
  • Newfane, VT
Replied Feb 23 2017, 14:04

You nailed it, Israel. I found out recently that my tenant has been running a 5 star Airbnb in my home (I don't reside there) and in addition is behind in their rent. I do state "no subletting" and "no visitors for more than 2 weeks time" in their lease which I have pointed out to them. I do have to carry business insurance, but as you mentioned, I doubt it covers someone falling down the stairs and the like. And my electric and fuel oil consumption has gone up significantly. I fear what the sewer bill will look like. Their lease is up in a few months and have asked them kindly to take MY house off Airbnb, but at this point, they've just blocked the dates AFTER there lease is up so clearly they have no intentions of stopping. I'm hopeful this means they are actually intending on leaving and not planning on staying and not paying their rent. How do people like this sleep at night? 

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Sean Walton
  • Wholetailer & Architect
  • San Francisco, CA
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Sean Walton
  • Wholetailer & Architect
  • San Francisco, CA
Replied Feb 23 2017, 16:33

I think many landlords in rent controlled cities get burned because a tenant can (not legally) rent for way more than their rent rate and the landlords take on increased liability and no additional money. If your rent is at market rate and the tenants pay on time and take good care of the place I might negotiate to raise the rent in exchange to allowing them to continue this. Most airbnb guests are extremely respectful but if some are disturbing your other tenant or neighbor that would be less reason to play ball.

I agree most insurance doesn't cover airbnb guests. Consult your insurance agent but I ended up going  to CBIZ. I don't only want to rely on Airbnb's coverage.

Edit: you can't leave a review for a place you haven't stayed at but I think you can or could leave a reference for the person but I might try and work things out first