National Real Estate Investor's Bendix Anderson looks at Airbnb's recently announced Friendly Buildings Program, in which the popular home-rental site seeks to partner with multifamily firms to expand access to, and the transparency of, its home-sharing network.

The program offers owners and managers the ability to see who's subletting within their communities, as well as who's staying there short term, and even share in the revenue. However, many apartment companies are still reluctant to dive in, wary of security issues.

“Our members see real and substantial enterprise risk and liability,” says Rick Haughey, vice president, industry technology initiatives, for the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC).

... So far, only 1 percent of apartment owners and managers say that they now allow home sharing, according to NMHC’s survey. A little less than half of respondents—42 percent—say they would not consider partnering to allow home sharing.

“The risk currently outweighs the reward,” Haughey says of these owners and managers. “Currently, there is a little too much uncertainty. Local regulations are now so varied and are changing so rapidly that our members, especially those with national portfolios, often can’t keep up with whether short-term rentals in apartments violate local regulations, in addition to being a lease violation.”

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