Oh, how the tables can turn. After suing San Francisco, New York City and Anaheim, Airbnb has found itself on the other side of a lawsuit. Apartment Investment & Management Company (Aimco), which owns or manages about 50,000 properties, is suing Airbnb, saying that the company is deliberately incentivizing people to breach their leases, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Aimco, which filed the lawsuit in California and Florida state courts, is seeking monetary damages as well as court orders to stop Airbnb from enabling people to breach their leases. Aimco’s beef with Airbnb is that its platform brings people with “unvetted personal histories” (sound familiar?) with “no vested interest in maintaining a peaceful community atmosphere” inside their buildings.
“It is not acceptable to us that Airbnb actively promotes and profits from deliberate breaches of our leases, and does so in utter disregard of the disrespectful and unsafe situations created for our full-time residents and their families,” Aimco CEO Terry Considine said in a statement. “We are asking the courts to compensate Aimco for our losses and to enjoin Airbnb from participation in further illegal activity at our properties so that our law-abiding residents can enjoy a high quality living experience.”
The lawsuit comes after Aimco says it notified Airbnb in August, October and December of last year that some of the listings on Airbnb were in violation of Aimco’s lease agreements, Aimco wrote in a statement.
But Airbnb, being Airbnb, is of course going to fight this, saying that it is an “attack on the middle class by powerful interests” that “is wholly without merit,” an Airbnb spokesperson told The WSJ.
Airbnb has tried to appease landlords by offering to give them a cut of the revenue, but it’s not clear how well that initiative is going. Depending on how this case turns out, landlords down the road could feel either more or less inclined to take legal action against Airbnb.