The Real Deal New York

Airbnb tracking website charges landlords to monitor their units

Ari Teman created SubletSpy.com after renter hosted “Freak Fest” orgy at his apartment

April 05, 2016 10:30AM

The front page of SubletSpy.com and Ari Teman

A new web service allows landlords to keep a close eye on short-term rentals at their properties.

SubletSpy.com, created by entrepreneur Ari Teman, charges building owners for information on their tenants’ use of Airbnb, Craiglist, and other sites to re-rent their units, the New York Daily News reported.

The service uses “the latest in military intelligence and signal processing technology,” to identify posters on short-term rental hubs, according to the company’s website. SubletSpy also reports tenants’ nightly income from sublets.

The company charges per unit, with discounts for landlords with larger portfolios. For owners seeking to monitor 5,000 units or more, the company asks $1 per month per unit.

Airbnb is “knowingly enabling criminal activity,” Teman told the News.

Over 15,000 listings on Airbnb – 55 percent of the total — are for whole units, and only 8 percent of those restrict rentals to 30 days or more, according to data Airbnb released in December. The rest, if rented, violate the city’s Multiple Dwellings Law.

Teman also holds a personal grudge against the company. Back in 2014, he caught a “guest” at his Chelsea pad – a Fed-Ex employee named David Carter – attempting to throw an orgy, advertised as an “XXX Freak Fest.”

Teman was evicted from his apartment and says he became temporarily homeless. Though Airbnb eventually paid damages for his ruined furniture and put him up at a hotel, he was subsequently sued by his landlord and had his name entered into a database of risky renters.

Some landlords and property managers have been deploying lower-tech versions of the same basic service, Mirador’s Karla Saladino told The Real Deal last month. [NYDM]Ariel Stulberg

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