Monday, June 15, 2015

Evicting tenants who engage in short-term rentals

The recent success of Airbnb and other similar sites where you can rent out your home, or portions of it, and make a little money, is not necessarily a smart thing to do, especially if you are a tenant and more-especially if you live in a rent-controlled unit.

In large rent-control cities such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York City, some tenants are finding they can make a profit by renting out bedrooms or entire units to short-term renters.  Often they are receiving more money per month than they pay to their landlords in rent.

Some cities have enacted laws specifically to address this issue, but in many rent-controlled jurisdictions, this is NOT legal.

Upper West Side [NYC] woman may be evicted

Santa Monica [CA] landlord sets up "sting"

Even if the location is not subject to rent control laws, your lease probably forbids it.  Also, depending on how often you do it, this activity can effectively turn your residential unit into a HOTEL, and you are subject to hotel regulations, which may include the fact that your location is NOT zoned for use as a hotel, and/or you are required to pay the city a hotel tax.  As you might imagine, cities don't enjoy being deprived of their tax revenue.

Therefore, if you are a tenant and you list your home on Airbnb or another similar site, YOU CAN BE EVICTED, even if you live in a rent-controlled unit.

And if you rent your home for MORE than 30 days to any one renter, you have generally evicted yourself, because the new occupant, renting for more than 30 days, then usually has the right to remain.  You can only evict that renter by following the local eviction laws.

Questions to ask yourself --
1.  Do you own the property you want to list on Airbnb, or do you rent?
2.  Whether you own or rent, is the property located in a rent-control jurisdiction?
3.  Do you want to be a landlord and/or hotel operator?
4.  Do you know how to screen your guests?
5.  Have you read your lease?
6.  Have you researched your local eviction laws?
7.  Have you researched your local hotel laws?
8.  Have you discussed this with your landlord?
9.  Have you discussed this with a local eviction attorney?
10.  Have you had your head examined?

Great list of things to consider

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