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Airbnb Strikes Deal With San Francisco’s Largest Apt Owner

The San Francisco city skyline

Airbnb has partnered with Veritas Investments, the largest apartment owner/manager in San Francisco, with an agreement that allows Veritas residents to list their apartments on Airbnb for short-term rentals and then share the profit with their landlord, reports CNET and The Wall Street Journal, among others.

Veritas will initially allow its residents in five of its buildings to list their apartments exclusively on Airbnb. Veritas will receive 10 percent of that short-term rental profit. Veritas owns more than 200 buildings in San Francisco.

Hosts (renters) must first register their apartment homes through Airbnb’s website. Airbnb agreed to then pass the information to city officials. Airbnb also agreed to purge its site by the beginning of next year of listings of apartments that aren’t registered, WSJ reports.

The partnership includes services from start-up firm Pillow Residential, an independent firm that helps residents and apartment owners manage short-term listings by arranging for cleaners, tracking the number of nights that residents rent their apartments and providing guests a point of contact if something goes wrong. Residents in Veritas buildings who want to rent their apartments must use Airbnb and Pillow through Airbnb’s Friendly Buildings Program, which launched two years ago.

Virtu Investment’s Archer Tower community in Denver also teamed up with Pillow Residential to enable residents to rent their apartments on Airbnb, facilitating a revenue-sharing agreement between the owner (10 percent), Pillow (10 to 20 percent) and the resident (70 to 80 percent). For their share, Pillow coordinates advertisement, key swap and professional cleaning. Virtu is offering residents discounted monthly lease rates in exchange for participation, reports the Colorado Real Estate Journal (CREJ). The program has been embraced by Archer Tower, residents according to Virtu COO Blake Hayunga, reports CREJ. Hayunga says he’s seen a 20 percent increase in applications since inception with a 50 percent penetration rate on new leases. 

Airbnb says there are 13,000 units enrolled in the Airbnb Friendly Buildings program nationwide.

  • J Turner recently released results from a nationwide survey of 84,942 renters on many topics, including whether they would approve of short-term rentals in their apartment community and 25 percent said they were “definitely not” interested in living in an apartment community that allows short-term rentals. 
  • A judge’s ruling was expected Dec. 1 at a U.S. District Court in the Central District of California in Los Angeles on Aimco’s suit against Airbnb. Aimco seeks to a preliminary injunction to halt Airbnb’s brokering of short-term rental transactions at four of Aimco’s Southern California communities.

“This action seeks to alleviate the irreparable harm to those apartment communities and their residents caused by Airbnb’s transactions pending the final ruling on Aimco’s lawsuit to prohibit Airbnb’s participation in the unauthorized subletting of Aimco’s apartment homes and repeated abuse of Aimco’s private property rights,” according to an Aimco press release.