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Larry Magid: Airbnb Leading To Evictions

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Screenshot of Airbnb.com. (CBS)

Screenshot of Airbnb.com. (CBS)

LarryMagid01-228 Larry Magid
Larry Magid is a technology journalist and an Internet safe...
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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— Airbnb, the website that helps travelers find a place to stay, is landing some property renters in trouble.

The San Francisco Chronicle has been reporting that several tenants who listed their apartments up on the site have been evicted for violating the terms of their leases.

Landlords also sent an eviction notice to a man in New York City who was surprised to find that his apartment that he listed on Airbnb was actually being used for an x-rated party.

It could be a case of current rules and regulations getting in the way of technology or is it the other way around?

Often times a lease will have a no sublet clause. Basically as many renters already know that means in order for a friend to move in to that apartment or for you to leave temporarily or get out of the lease early to find a subletter, you need the landlord’s permission.

On Airbnb, people are renting out their apartments for a day or a week or whatever amount of time using the online service. It’s a really cool service where you can go on the site and type in where you want to go and a bunch of rooms, houses for rent, or apartments will come up.

The landlords are now using this transaction as a basis for grounds to evict their tenants with the defense that this is subletting. I think it’s pretty safe to say we’re going to see some changes in the regulation in this sort of thing.

Maybe landlords will become savvier by including a clause in the lease that gives them a cut in the event that their property is rented out in this manner, but again the issue is regulation.

I can kind of see both sides of this issue and how a landlord might resent the fact that tenants are making money on their property without their consent. On the other hand tenants might feel like they can do whatever they want, within reason, in their rental.

The whole Airbnb model presumes that you have the right to rent out the room in your house. It’s sort of like car-ride services like UberX or Lyft. In the sense that you sidestep current regulations, that maybe cab drivers have to deal with, but the difference is with the car services, it’s more likely going to be a car you own instead of a rental.

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