Airbnb has been granted a 30-day extension to Aug. 7 for when it must submit its comments in response to a lawsuit filed by Aimco in regard to its residents violating their lease terms by sub-leasing their apartments through Airbnb, according to Aimco spokesperson Cindy Lempke.
Lempke says Airbnb’s request to extend the deadline was because it had hired new legal counsel. She says she does not anticipate Airbnb asking for a further extension.
On June 7, Aimco filed an amended complaint against Airbnb in the Superior Court of California seeking injunctive relief and restitution under that state’s Unfair Competition Law. The revised suit broadens Aimco’s claims to include all apartment owners whose properties have been rented without Airbnb first obtaining their permission. Aimco also filed an amended complaint in its second lawsuit against Airbnb in Miami-Dade County Circuit Court.
“Our amended complaint does include the potential for a class-action lawsuit,” says Lempke. “Airbnb is knowingly encouraging and participating in the subleasing of thousands of apartments nationwide in violation of lease agreements, state laws and property owners’ rights. We believe this is unjust and our amended complaint makes our position very clear.”
Airbnb downplayed Aimco’s most recent action. “This is yet another attack on the middle class by powerful interests and it remains wholly without merit,” says Nick Papas, Director of Public Affairs at Airbnb.
Aimco filed its initial lawsuits against Airbnb in February in Florida and California. Then, Airbnb had a June 6 deadline to file comments about the lawsuit. With Aimco extending the reach of its lawsuit, Airbnb has been given until July 7 to comment or to ask for an extension.
In its release announcing the revised suits, Aimco said it believes that a significant portion of Airbnb’s business and revenues comes from its unauthorized short-term rentals of properties that Airbnb does not own and that Airbnb wrongfully profits from these transactions.
Lempke adds, “We have heard complaints and concerns from many apartment owners and we welcome their support.”
Aimco CEO Terry Considine said in the release, “Airbnb continues its unlawful practice of knowingly promoting the breaking of lease agreements between residents and property owners and profiting from illegal rentals of properties it does not own. There are countless examples of transient Airbnb guests causing disruption, using fraudulent passes to access resident amenities and showing no regard for the safe, peaceful environment we strive to create for our permanent residents.”