Aimco Remains Opposed to Short-Term Rentals Post-Settlement
Following its Dec. 11 settlement with Airbnb over short-term rental listings and activity within its apartment communities, Aimco maintains that it is not interested in entering the short-term rental market.
Following are comments were made by Patti Shwayder, Senior Vice President of Government Relations and Communications for Aimco in the days after a settlement was reached between Aimco and Airbnb about a lawsuit filed in California and Florida state courts in February 2017. That suit sought monetary damages as well as court orders preventing Airbnb from assisting Aimco residents to breach their leases in order to sublet their apartments.
“Aimco’s philosophy of being opposed to short-term rentals has not changed with the settlement,” Shwayder says. “We feel that the settlement is in our best interest because it provides Aimco with the ability to control short-term rental activity consistent with its contract and property rights.
“Aimco does not participate in Airbnb-type rental programs and will continue to prohibit short-term rentals consistent with our lease requirements.
“Our aim is to provide a peaceful and enjoyable lifestyle for our residents. We have had an overwhelming response from our residents with complaints about short-term rentals turning our properties into a hotel-like atmosphere. We continue to take an aggressive stance against lease violations, and when our residents attempt to offer their apartments for short-term rentals, we give them a warning. If that behavior continues, we start the eviction process.
Shwayder says that in the three Florida apartment communities that were included in the lawsuit, Aimco evicted more than 100 residents who were violating the terms of their lease, not to mention countless more who left under a variety of other related circumstances by conducting short-term rentals.
“Monitoring residents’ attempts at listing our apartments on the Airbnb website is a burdensome process,” Shwayder says. “We have a battery of Aimco employees who regularly check listings. Airbnb listings do not include street addresses, so our staff looks for things such as recognizable photos of our units and we then follow-up. We also train our property managers to be on the lookout for activity in the community that resembles short-term stays such as an increase in traffic or people who we do not recognize.”
Upon the Dec. 11 settlement, Aimco and Airbnb jointly announced the dismissal of all litigation between them and issued the following statement: “… The parties believe the settlement is in both sides’ best interests. Aimco believes that the parties’ agreement provides Aimco with the ability to control short-term rental activity consistent with its contract and property rights. As part of the settlement, Aimco and Airbnb have agreed to meet to discuss opportunities in the multifamily housing industry.”