New monitoring services help associations catch owners conducting unauthorized Airbnb rentals
Florida HOA Lawyer Blog
by Roberto C. Blanch
01 August 2016
The problem of short-term rentals with the help of Airbnb and other
similar websites in violation of community association rules has
quickly become one of the most pressing issues facing associations
today. Even though Airbnb, HomeAway and VRBO claim they prohibit
their hosts from renting residences in communities with rules against
short-term rentals, enforcement of this policy by the online home
sharing providers is virtually nonexistent.
This makes it incumbent upon the associations and their property
managers to proactively monitor and investigate for unauthorized
rentals and their online listings, which can be extremely
difficult. In most cases, the unit owners conducting the rentals
know full well that they are violating their association’s rules, so
they do what they can to avoid detection.
Their ploys, which typically include walking their new guests into the
property and advising security that their visit is authorized, are
enabling many rentals to go undetected by management and staff.
The result can be very troubling for associations, as unfettered
short-term rentals can create a revolving door for guests with none of
the prior screening and background checks that are typically performed
for new residents and tenants.
These guests can cause potentially serious nuisance, security and
liability issues for associations, which are now beefing up their
monitoring and enforcement policies to help eliminate these
rentals. Many are developing and implementing new registration
forms for guests and tenants along with written assurances and
non-compensation statements indicating that they are not paying for
In addition to these and other measures, a number of new service
providers have now sprouted up to help associations and other landlords
to monitor and detect listings for rentals of their properties in all
of the leading home sharing websites as well as Craigslist. These
include STRMonitor, BNBShield, SubletSpy.com, SubletAlert.com and Stopbnb.com.
These service providers use automated and proprietary search
applications and algorithms to find and report listings in their
clients’ communities and properties. Once the listings are
identified, some offer additional investigation and enforcement
services to help associations and landlords take the necessary steps in
order to stop the rentals from taking place.
The growth of Airbnb and its competitors in today’s sharing economy
appears to have no end in sight. By working with experienced
association counsel and utilizing these new rental monitoring and
prevention services as necessary, community associations will be able
to effectively enforce their rules prohibiting short-term rentals.