Last May, at TechCrunch Disrupt NYC, Airbnb cofounder Brian Chesky announced that there would be a new category of rentals coming soon: Sublets. It’s been a few months since then (the launch may well have been delayed as the site worked to ramp up its safety features after a major backlash in late July), but the wait is over — and the new feature is sure to save quite a few headaches.
Now, Airbnb has always been focused on helping people rent out their apartments and homes, but historically the service has been all about short-term rentals. Sure, it’s possible to book longer stays, but most people turn to the site as an alternative to booking a hotel room for a week, as opposed to renting out a condo for a month or three. With the launch of this new Sublets section, that’s changing. And, as someone who spent way too much time scouring through Craigslist sublet listings over the summer, I can only say this: I wish they had launched this three months ago.
So what’s different about Sublets? From a UI perspective, there isn’t much that’s changed— you can still browse through listings, sorting them by price and reviews, with a map plotting out the location of each. And, as with the ‘normal’ Airbnb rentals, you can see reviews for each user left by past subletters. All of which are huge improvements over the unstructured listings on Craiglist (and you can pay by credit card, which is a nice plus).
To help kickstart the new section of the site, Airbnb is tempting users with a $200/month discount — but you’ll have to act quickly, as it ends in a week.
We’ll even help pay the rent, use the code “SUBLETS” and we’ll pay $200 of your rent each and every month for up to 6 months. The offer is good until September 8th on stays longer than 28 days, so get in there and become a local in the place you’ve always dreamed of.
Disclosure: Michael Arrington has a pending investment in Airbnb. He is not currently an investor.