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Related Companies Goes After Its Tenants Who Post on Airbnb

Stephen M. Ross Chairman of Related Companies



Airbnb, a website which helps travelers find apartments available for short term sublets around the world and whose investors include Ashton Kucher, has made the mistake of coming up against Stephen Ross’ Related Companies.

Call them short term rentals or holiday apartments, people in cities around the world from Jerusalem to New York have come to dread them. Some are individual apartments offered by their owners and others are owned as part of a group of units offered for rent by private companies.

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Long term residents of buildings where they are located feel that the tourists who come and go treat their buildings like hotels and are rude and disrespectful. Hotels hate them because they steal away their potential customers.

While Airbnb deals with people who look to sublet their apartments when they are away from home for the extra cash, the issues are the same. Also, most rental contracts prohibit such activities.

Related has put the word out that residents in its rental apartment buildings may not list their units on Airbnb. According to Crain’s the firm may even offer as much as $500 to building managers who report on people who do so.

The company is also asking people to scour the Airbnb listings for any offerings located in its buildings.

A presentation that the firm prepared explains to its employees why it feels that what Airbnb does is wrong and cites the following:

The majority of the Related Rentals apartments are subject to the Rent Stabilization Guidelines of New York.

The guidelines state that rentals by individuals for less than 30 days are prohibited, unless the leaseholder is present.

The law also prohibits the occupant from profiting from the use of their apartment.

“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 spokeswoman for Related told Crain’s.



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