“If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.”
Condominium associations and owners of multi-unit housing are embracing that time-honored maxim regarding short-term“home sharing” rentals of individual units.
Many unit-owners, landlords, and tenants of multi-unit buildings and complexes were not enthusiastic a few years ago when some residents began renting their units for short periods through online services such as Airbnb, HomeAway, and similar networks.
For landlords and condo associations, home-sharing introduced hotel-type risks into structures ill-equipped for the unique exposures of hospitality establishments. Many properties responded with lease conditions and by-laws prohibiting home-sharing, and most still insist on their right to regulate home-sharing in their properties.
However, monitoring compliance is intrusive at best, and prohibitively difficult in some jurisdictions. Moreover, resistance to home-sharing puts landlords and condo associations at odds with a strong desire among homeowners to earn money from their dwellings, especially in areas where the cost of living is high, such as New York City and San Francisco.
Today, some multi-family complexes are embracing short-term rentals to share in their benefits, and there are online services to help them do just that, including Pillow (an affiliate of Airbnb), Stay Alfred, WhyHotel, and YOTELPAD, as well as a “Friendly Buildings” program sponsored by Airbnb.
While they focus on different aspects of home-sharing, in the aggregate these services allow property owners and managers to: