Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have an Airbnb but not have to deal with the hassle hosting? Then follow along, dear reader, for I have much to tell you.
This all started in early September. Our landlord informed us and the two other tenants that he was selling the building. Surely this wouldn’t affect us much because our building wasn’t near anything important and had full, long-term occupancy. We were wrong.
December arrived, and my girlfriend and I had just returned from visiting family for Thanksgiving. Suddenly, our upstairs neighbor appeared at our door with a surprise letter from our new landlord. According to this letter, his lease was not going to be renewed. Our neighbor only received this letter because his lease was up in 45 days. We had to ask our new landlord if the same terms would apply to us come August, and sure enough, there would be no lease renewals under this new landlord.
After some basic Google searches we discovered that our new landlord owed 17 buildings in town. All of those buildings were dedicated Airbnbs. We are the last to leave this building, as well as this block. There used to be multiple apartment buildings up and down the street, but all that’s left is a Thai restaurant and an advertising agency. Every residential building is owned by the same man and each unit is rented out as an Airbnb. No one actually lives here any more.
So far we have had to deal with extremely loud guests in the Airbnbs above us, restrictions on our ability to receive mail, and our new landlord demanding we have cameras in the entryway because “the ATF raided the Thai place across the street” (an obvious lie). Two important packages have been returned to sender because the property manager the landlord hired doesn’t care that we still live here.
If you visit a new place, don’t rent from “Superhosts”. Nearly all of them are big time landlords who use Airbnb to destroy communities and drive up rent. Rent your spare room – that’s fine. Don’t buy property just to evict the current residents and convert to short term rentals. If you rent and don’t want this to happen to you, form a tenant union before it’s too late.