The Real Deal New York

Airbnb has a new adversary: The Related Companies

Landlord asks property managers to turn in tenants listing units on the website

October 03, 2014 11:00AM

From left: Stephen Ross, Airbnb New York and Airbnb founders

From left: Stephen Ross, Airbnb New York and Airbnb founders

The Related Companies is the latest stakeholder in New York City’s rental market to take on apartment-sharing website Airbnb.

The landlord has deputized building managers at its properties, asking them to be on the hunt for tenants renting out their apartments via the website, Crain’s reported. Related has even considered dishing out $500 rewards to managers who turn in violators, according to the news site.

The plan of attack is mapped out in a 16-page PowerPoint presentation obtained by Crain’s. Managers are to monitor the website and report tenants  to “Airbnb marshals.” A plan to offer a $500 gift card for each resident caught listing on Airbnb was left out of the final presentation, reported Crain’s.

Airbnb has squared off with the New York State attorney general over releasing user information and faced lawsuits over illegal rentals in Gotham. Related’s actions signal a new front in the battle over short-term rentals.

“We are committed to ensuring that all our residential units comply with the rent-stabilization laws and we, along with other landlords in NYC, have developed extensive procedures, protocols and training mechanisms to that end,” a spokesperson for Related told Crain’s. [Crain’s]Tom DiChristopher

  • Bullied and Damaged by Rent Re

    Wasn’t the gambling den episode of Elementary about the building super involved in an illegal sublet of the absentee tenant’s apartment?

    Tenants making that much money would have no problem kicking back to building staff in excess of the cheaper one-time payment offered by the landlord. I’ve heard of building staff co-opted by ingratiating tenants to collaborate on unnecessary repairs so there is kickback on bills, etc.

  • Bullied and Damaged by Rent Re

    I feel that sub rosa, the large developers are really okay with things like making it the private burden of property owners rather than the tax burden of all the citizens to reduce rents for SCRIE instead of just increasing public funds for senior citizens or building them affordable housing. A lot of what the developers do don’t look like for profit at all. The news here really makes it seem like anyone in real estate can afford to pay for other people’s elderly parents even if they are in market rent apartments.

    If this isn’t stretched to cover private home rentals and rentals of condo units, then it also must be about discouraging small private ownership especially in Manhattan – not in our case, because we are moving into our building since we can’t afford to own a house and run this building as is. If we lose the building despite our best efforts, at least we will get to enjoy someone else paying for the heat, hot water, property taxes, garbage and infinite unpunishable repair issues.

    From the other side, being a rent regulated tenant looks like a sweet deal and getting sweeter by the day not the nightmare depicted by the government.

    • Bullied and Damaged by Rent Re

      If we care about old people, how come only multifamily property owners are paying for that concern and not all taxpayers. I can’t believe that as genius as the developers are, they didn’t notice this dissonance.

  • Bullied and Damaged by Rent Re

    The airbnb records are obviously such a safety issue, an insurance issue, a tax issue and a DHCR issue if not a legal issue. What about property taxes? It’s a very strange protection and freedom granted to tenants which invites a muted response politically.

  • JEng

    Well, this contradicts the latest airbnb article that it is primarily landlords who are the terrible profiteers. Why don’t they match airbnb’s host database to DHCR automatically to make sure there isn’t a case for treble damages on overcharging for rent regulated apartments?

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