BY Fast Company 2 MINUTE READ

It’s no secret that renters will often try to Airbnb their apartments to make extra cash when they are traveling in order to help recoup the costs of their vacation. But doing so often puts the renters in a precarious situation. Most apartment rental contracts stipulate that the tenant cannot sub-rent the apartment to a third party, short term or long. If a renter gets caught Airbnbing their place, it’s grounds for eviction. Such on-the-sly rentals also often make landlords see Airbnb as a threat to their properties.

But today Airbnb announced a new initiative in which it will work with landlords to allow renters to host their apartments on the platform. Airbnb says the move is designed to make hosting more accessible to more people and allow them to “tap into the economic benefits of hosting at a time when many are trying to keep up with the rising cost of living.”

Under the new initiative, Airbnb has teamed up with major landlord companies that have agreed to let their tenants rent out a single room in their apartment, or the entire place, for the short term. Upon its launch, these “Airbnb-friendly apartments” will be available in 175 apartment buildings in the United States in 25 different markets, including Jacksonville, Houston, San Francisco, Seattle, and Phoenix.

But the ability for a tenant to rent their apartment on Airbnb does come without limitations on the tenants. The landlords that own the apartment building can place their own rules and restrictions on the conditions that must be met for a tenant to Airbnb their rental. And as CNBC reports, the owner of the building can charge the tenant up to a 20% fee for what they earn for each Airbnb rental. The landlord can also restrict the number of nights per year that the tenant can rent out their rental. Additionally, landlords also have the right to review all Airbnb listings before they go live and can even deactivate a listing if it violates the landlord’s rules.

For Airbnb, the new initiative is a no-brainer. It allows more properties to be listed on the platform without putting tenants at risk for hosting on the sly. It also keeps landlords happy as they get a cut of the profits their tenants make. What remains to be seen, however, is how Airbnb-friendly apartments will affect tenant rents in the long term.


Michael Grothaus is a novelist and author. His next novel, ‘BEAUTIFUL SHINING PEOPLE’, is coming in 2023