Apartment Investment & Management Company (AIMCO), one of the largest owners and operators of apartments in the United States, has filed a pair of lawsuits in Florida and California against short-term rental site Airbnb, alleging that it helps tenants violate their leases and that it creates unsafe conditions for other renters.
AIMCO owns or manages around 50,000 apartments in 23 states across the US. “Short-term rental arrangements, whether through Airbnb or otherwise, are expressly prohibited by Aimco's lease agreements,” according to a release by the company, and is seeking an unspecified amount of money in damages.
While Airbnb has mounted legal challenges and faced legislation from major cities such as New York City and San Francisco, this is the first time that a landlord has sued the company, according to The Wall Street Journal. The company has been met with skepticism from landlords across the country, and it unveiled a pilot program, Airbnb Friendly Buildings, designed to share some short-term rental profits with building owners.
Renters who rent from AIMCO are required to go through a criminal background and credit check, and the company has noted that Airbnb customers don’t go through these checks. AIMCO cited instances where short-term renters have “created safety, noise and nuisance concerns for Aimco's lawful residents, including incidents of public drunkenness and fighting requiring police assistance.”
Airbnb spokesperson Nick Papas, told The Wall Street Journal in a statement that “this attack on the middle class by powerful interests is wholly without merit,” and that it planned to fight the lawsuit.