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Airbnb trials sharing rental fee income with landlords

Pilot scheme in US is portend of what may soon may be rolled out in the UK as home sharing website tries to win over larger landlords.

Nigel Lewis

The Nob Hill Vistas building in San Francisco, one of five blocks where the fee sharing program is being trialled by Airbnb.

Airbnb in the US has struck a deal with a major build-to-rent landlord in its home city of San Francisco to share profits when tenants sub-let their homes via its home-sharing service.

Veritas Investments, which owns and manages over 200 mainly Art Deco buildings containing some 5,000 apartments within the city, is to pilot a scheme that will enable some of its tenants to rent out their apartments via Airbnb, which will then share its fees with the company in return.

A separate property management company called Pillow Residential will then handle the bookings and change overs.

Five blocks that include 100 apartments in the city belonging to Veritas are included in the pilot scheme and the company is to take 10% cut of any vacation rental fees generated by Airbnb bookings.

“If you look at the business models of the 1980s and 1990s you had very clear boundaries, but when you look at companies like Airbnb you realise they are both collaborating and competing on different levels – so it’s not a clear like is used to be, and may never be again,” says James Morris-Manuel, EMEA Director at 3D viewings firm Matterport.

More affordable

Veritas told The San Francisco Chronicle that it was keen to try out the scheme, which is part of Airbnb’s Friendly Buildings Programme, because it believes the extra income tenants earn from letting out their homes via Airbnb will help make their homes more attractive and affordable.

Airbnb imageThe Friendly Buildings Programme Airbnb is running the US is designed to overcome the objections of landlords and freeholders to tenants or leaseholder sub-letting out their properties via short-term rentals, and is being rolled out across the US, starting in San Francisco.

In the UK – as in the US and elsewhere – there are been high profile cases of Airbnb booking being banned by leaseholder and landlords including, as The Negotiator reported recently, at a new homes development near Chichester.

Read our recent opinion piece by lawyer Adam Osieke about why the industry should exercise caution when getting in to bed with Airbnb.



November 7, 2017

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