If you’re looking to make some extra cash, Airbnb can be an easy alternative to finding another weird Craigslist roommate or moonlighting as a rich dude’s arm candy. But if you’re going to go the room rental route, you probably want to make sure that doing so doesn’t violate your lease–or else you might just find yourself kicked to the curb (or at least served with a restraining order).
Consider the case of Chris Dannen, a Brooklyn resident who claims to have made upwards of $20,000 in nine months from renting out his two spare bedrooms on Airbnb. According to a missive he penned for Fast Company:
On Monday, June 4, about 10 days before my cofounders and I planned to push our first product into the iTunes App Store, a stranger in a blue blazer served me with a restraining order filed by my landlord…. Attached to the order was a complete printout of my Airbnb listing and all my reviews, included as evidence I had violated clauses in my lease. (Some leases, I have since learned, have evolved specific language prohibiting tenants from listing their pads on vacation-rental sites such as Airbnb.)
We feel badly for Mr. Dannen, but we can’t help but wonder how this came as a shock to him. Aren’t lease clauses always the catch with Airbnb, and why you should only use it if you own a place, or if your listing is suuuuper stealth?
Let this be a warning to all of you cash-strapped, enterprising Brooklynites with space to spare: read your lease before signing up for Airbnb.