Airbnb is recruiting landlords for legal short-term sublets

Airbnb Co-Founder and CEO Brian Chesky (Photo Illustration by Steven Dilakian for The Real Deal with Getty)

Airbnb is partnering with multi-family landlords to bring short-term rentals into designated properties out of the shadows.

Company launches referral service for apartment rentals with several major landlords and property managers across the country, The Wall Street Journal reported. The service will launch with more than 175 properties, including those owned by Greystar and Equity Residential, along with 10 others.

Only units with permitted short-term sublets will be listed on the service in a move targeting the declining share of short-term rental listings in apartment buildings, which fell 4.9% from October 2019 last month as overall listings on the platform increased by 22.9%.

Airbnb Partner Owners will receive a share of total booking revenue from sublets, often amounting to 20%. Landlords will also have access to a dashboard so they can see which of their listings has an Airbnb guest.

Multi-family giant Greystar is expected to list over 100 buildings on the new platform, with more to come. CEO Bob Faith told the Journal that the ability to sublet can be an advantage to potential tenants, lowering a unit’s rent.

Airbnb has been at the center of regulatory battles between owners and officials in cities like New York, where a law prohibits the subletting of apartments for stays of less than 30 days unless the host is at home. Despite local rules and a decade-long battle, law enforcement difficulties have allowed illegal listings to go unchecked.

SEO service news comes after Airbnb recorded a record number of reservations in the first quarter, and record revenue and profit in the third quarter. Shares of the company have fallen 40% this year amid a sell-off in tech stocks.

—Holden Walter-Warner

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