Apartment owners and managers are embracing the home sharing trend as residents continue to list their units on popular rental sites such as Airbnb, HomeAway, FlipKey, and others.
Thirty-three percent of the 79 firms that participated in a National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) survey conducted earlier in the month, which includes one-third of the NMHC Top 50 list and more than 1 million apartment homes, reported that they would be open to a partnership program with short-term rental sites. Only 1% of firms reported that they currently allow residents to list on home sharing sites.
The findings follow Airbnb’s announcement Tuesday launching its new Airbnb Friendly Building Program, which will allow owners and tenants to work together with home sharing rental services to enable residents to rent out their space based on whatever rules work for the building managers. This is the first market-driven initiative to turn what is now a lease violation into a revenue opportunity for all parties involved. Can these two entities work together to streamline the home sharing process?
The partnership will offer participating firms “transparency regarding home sharing activity in their buildings, including notification of upcoming trips booked at their properties, pertinent reservation and guest information, and commission details; control over home sharing activity through lease addendums, which can set parameters and restrictions, and activity reports; [and] an opportunity to capture ancillary revenue through customizable commission percentages,” according to the details of a news release.
However, 42% of the firms surveyed said they still weren't interested, while the remainder said they didn’t know.
Many firms have a variety of concerns when it comes to allowing residents to list their unit as a rental, the top being safety issues. Eighty percent of respondents listed safety as their primary concern with such an arrangement, followed by 74% citing liability and insurance, and 74% saying quality of life concerns and impact on neighborhood dynamic were their biggest issues. Local laws also come into play in different markets, where varying levels of restrictions make it difficult to lease space for short-term rentals. Thirty-five percent of firms said violation of local laws was a top concern with residents listing their apartments on home sharing platforms.
“On one hand, it adds transparency, provides a perk to residents, and creates an additional revenue stream [from] activities often already taking place in their buildings," said Rick Haughey, vice president of industry technology initiatives at NMHC. "Conversely, the safety and liability concerns, along with wanting to preserve a carefully curated quality of life for their residents, may be too high a bar to clear for others.”
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