Airbnb’s Winter Release has made plenty of headlines, but this newest platform launch – which allows tenants to become mini landlord x host hybrids – is raising more than a few eyebrows when it comes to housing practices.
Airbnb launched a new service called “Airbnb-friendly apartments” on Wednesday that allows renters to find apartments they can sublet short-term. Similar to Zillow or StreetEasy, the site has listings in more than 25 US cities for roughly 175 buildings.
Greystar Real Estate Partners LLC, Equity Residential, and ten more companies have partnered with Airbnb to own these apartments and buildings instead of Airbnb.
Airbnb will pay these companies a percentage of the bookings from any sublets their tenants offer – around 20-25% – in exchange for listing their properties on Airbnb.
The new program provides prospective renters with information and tools, including:
Browse Airbnb-friendly apartments: A selection of building at different price points and locations with floor plans and building amenities.
Earnings calculator: Prospective renters can get an estimate of monthly earnings they could generate by hosting part-time.
Connect with building management: Building management can answer questions about a building, schedule in-person tours, and start the leasing process.
Access to Airbnb setup: Free one-to-one guidance from a Superhost on how to get started on hosting and the option to host an experienced guest for your first stay.
“We believe cities can help renters better afford where they live by supporting Airbnb-friendly apartments and embracing policies that allow renters to share their space,” Airbnb wrote in a blog post.
Airbnb has long been under fire for its role in the housing crisis, with both people and companies snatching up multiple homes to renovate and rent out. With this announcement, it seems Airbnb believes that the best way to afford your own rent is to become an Airbnb host.