Apartment landlords say Airbnb is overstaying its welcome. Now one of the country's largest multifamily landlords, fed up with tenants subletting space to Airbnb users, is taking the online service to court.
Last week, Apartment Investment & Management Company filed suit in California and Florida state courts seeking monetary damages as well as court orders preventing Airbnb, Inc. from assisting Aimco tenants to breach their leases in order to sublet their apartments.
Short-term rental arrangements, whether through Airbnb or otherwise, are expressly prohibited by Aimco's lease agreements. Transient Airbnb clients have posed safety and quality of life concerns for Aimco's full-time residents.
Aimco strives to provide exceptional customer service and to offer residents a safe living environment free from disruption. All prospective Aimco residents undergo criminal background checks and credit history reviews before their acceptance as qualified renters. When approved, Aimco residents sign the company's Good Neighbor Policy as part of their lease – a promise of good behavior and consideration for their neighbors.
By contrast, those assisted by Airbnb to use Aimco property in violation of the Aimco lease are trespassers, with unvetted personal histories, and no vested interest in maintaining a peaceful community atmosphere. On several occasions, these Airbnb supported trespassers have created safety, noise and nuisance concerns for Aimco's lawful residents, including incidents of public drunkenness and fighting requiring police assistance.
"Our residents are our top priority. We are committed to providing them a safe and respectful environment," said Aimco CEO Terry Considine. "It is not acceptable to us that Airbnb actively promotes and profits from deliberate breaches of our leases, and does so in utter disregard of the disrespectful and unsafe situations created for our full-time residents and their families. We are asking the courts to compensate Aimco for our losses and to enjoin Airbnb from participation in further illegal activity at our properties so that our law-abiding residents can enjoy a high quality living experience."
Aimco notified Airbnb in August, October and December of 2016 that the listings appearing on the Airbnb platform represented lease violations, but Airbnb has continued to participate in illicit subletting of apartments. Aimco communities have suffered damages including property damage, nuisance and disturbance, and loss of revenue.