August – 2015

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Dealing With Wrongful Air Bnb Subletting
Including Floor Plans On Your Website Is Smart Marketing

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Volume 16 • Issue 8 August 2015 Landlord News 3600 South Yosemite Street Suite 828, Denver, Colorado 80237 thsnews@thslawfirm.com www.thslawfirm.com Denver Phone 303.766.8004 FAX Completed Eviction Forms To: 303.766.1181 or 303.766.1819 Colorado Springs Phone 719.550.8004 FAX Completed Eviction Forms To: 719.227.1181 DEALING WITH WRONGFUL AIRBNB SUBLETTING Valued at over twenty billion, Airbnb is the UBER of rentals. Through the Airbnb website, people can rent rooms, apartments, and homes. Over a million rentals are listed on Airbnb all over the world. Thousands of Denver rentals, including apartments, are listed on the Airbnb website, and more are being added everyday. A quick search of Airbnb revealed that tenants at several of our clients’ communities are offering their apartments for rent on Airbnb. If your tenants are renting your units on Airbnb, this is a clear breach of their lease. Fortunately, dealing with Airbnb related lease violations is not difficult. If you suspect that your tenants are renting their apartment on Airbnb, the first step is to conduct a search of the Airbnb website. Properties are not listed by name, but enough information is provided on the website for you to easily determine whether your units are being sublet. The general location (city or area) of the rental is provided. The location information allows you to quickly determine if you have a problem. If Airbnb units are being offered in your area, you’ll need to look at the specific rentals being offered. When you look at an individual rental, multiple pictures of a unit are displayed. Individual Airbnb listings also provide the first name of the Airbnb host (your tenant who is wrongfully subletting your unit). Thus, if pictures of your unit are listed by a host you’re renting to, your tenant is wrongfully subleasing your unit on Airbnb. Most leases provide that a tenant may have guests for a certain number of days before the guest is considered to be an unauthorized occupant. A guest is a person who is invited to visit your home without compensation. continued on page 2 INCLUDING FLOOR PLANS ON YOUR WEBSITE IS SMART MARKETING The importance of having floor plans on your community website is no longer a nice visual bonus item but it is proving to be a necessity for marketing-savvy management companies and communities. Data tracking demonstrates that online traffic of prospective renters is hyper-focused on comprehensive visual information for properties they may be interested in. Potential residents are interested in more than photos and video tours. Specifically they are looking for detailed floor plans. Of course renters are interested in the basic non-negotiable necessities like amenities, location and price but current research demonstrates that floor plans (preferably 3D) have now become one of the most searched items on the internet among prospective residents. A recent RentPath study indicates that the second most common thing a prospective resident does when apartment hunting is to look at floor plans and the panoramic views of the apartment community. Viewing floor plans allows the resident to authentically imagine living in that space. It is factually quantifiable that floor plans help to convert prospective renters into solid leads. Research data suggests that inclusion of floor plans on your site can increase leads by an additional 15 percent. Many communities are now even posting their floor plans on Pinterest which frequently results in clicks that guide the continued on page 2 DEALING WITH WRONGFUL AIRBNB SUBLETTING continued from page 1 Airbnb renters are not guests. Airbnb renters are unauthorized occupants paying rent to your tenant. Thus, despite what your tenant may argue, Airbnb tenants are not allowed under a lease provision that allows your tenant to have guests for a limited number of days. Further, you don’t have to wait until an Airbnb tenant has exceeded the number of guest days in your lease before you can take enforcement action against your tenant. If one of your tenants is wrongfully offering your unit for rent on Airbnb, you can take immediate action. When your tenant offers your unit on Airbnb, the tenant likely has breached several lease covenants. Specifically, the tenant has breached most leases by running a business out of the unit, allowing unauthorized occupants, and certainly by subletting the unit. When a tenant breaches a non-monetary covenant, your remedy is to post the tenant with a Demand for Compliance or Possession, i.e. stop offering the unit for rent on Airbnb, or surrender possession of the unit. Remember, in a compliance case, you have to prove breach, demand was made, and continued breach after the demand expires. Compliance related evictions such as noise complaints sometimes can be very difficult to prove, and can turn into time draining affairs in court. Fortunately, an Airbnb violation case is the one of the easiest compliance cases to prove, and is almost as easy as a rent case. When you determine that your tenant is wrongfully subletting on Airbnb, simply take a screen shot or print all relevant screens from the Airbnb website. You now have the information you need to prove the initial breach. The second element of proof is service of the Demand for Compliance or Possession, which should be no problem. The third element of proof is that you must establish that the tenant continued to breach (continued to offer the unit on Airbnb after three days, not including the day you served the notice). Again, no problem. Just take or print additional screen shots after the demand has expired if the tenant continues to list the unit on Airbnb. If your tenant complies with the Demand for continued on page 3 INCLUDING FLOOR PLANS ON YOUR WEBSITE IS SMART MARKETING continued from page 1 user to their community website. This demonstrates that floor plans can serve as a legitimate marketing tool beyond just being posted on your community web site. Although Pinterest users are typically browsers, if they come across your floor plan, it has the potential to spark interest for those who are in the market for an apartment. This is just one of the marketing options worth considering in utilizing floor plans as part of your overall Internet Marketing Strategy. Industry research points toward the fact that the omission of 3-D floor plans from your site could result in being the determining factor in a prospective resident’s decision-making process about seeking more information about your property. That is why, even though your site may feature eye-popping pictures and virtual tours, smart-thinking apartment communities know better than to ignore the data that points to the fact that leaving floor plans off their sites and listings would be a missed opportunity to reach a wider potential renter audience. JJJJJJJJJJJ DID YOU KNOW COLORADO DAY IS OBSERVED IN AUGUST About Colorado Day On August 1, 1876, president Ulysses S. Grant signed a proclamation admitting Colorado as a state. Colorado Day was celebrated as a state holiday on August 1 for many years, and then was moved to the first Monday in August, most likely after the time the U.S. Congress passed the Uniform Holidays Bill in 1968. The day’s no longer a public holiday, but rather an observance, when the state started observing Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a public holiday in 1985. JJJJJJJJJJJ Landlord News August 2015 Page 2 IMPORTANT THS AUGUST DATES August 12th Eviction Workshop THS Lower Conference Center 3600 S. Yosemite Street Denver, CO 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. DEALING WITH WRONGFUL AIRBNB SUBLETTING continued from page 2 Compliance or Possession within three days, by removing the listing from Airbnb, you cannot move forward. However, you should monitor Airbnb over the next couple of months to see if the tenant relists the unit on Airbnb. If the tenant does put the unit back on Airbnb, you could serve a Notice to Quit for a Repeat Violation. Finally, you could specifically address the Airbnb issue in your lease (tenant shall not list the unit on Airbnb). This is not necessary if, at a minimum, you have a strong prohibition in your lease against subleasing. If you do have a strong prohibition against subleasing, the potential benefit of a specific lease provision, to not list the unit on Airbnb, would be to avoid the entire Airbnb situation from the beginning. Since tenants obviously do things in violation of lease provisions anyway, to maximize the affect of an Airbnb lease provision, your leasing team should specifically point out the provision when the tenant executes the lease. JJJJJJJJJJJ SITUATION SOLUTIONS In checking the Situation Database we have selected two situations that are a little out of the norm as situation calls go. But then again, so many of our situations turn out to be a bit unusual if not unique. Here are just two of the many recent situations you may find interesting. We did!. HELP I’M HAVING A HEART ATTACK?? OR MAYBE NOT! A maintenance worker went to a unit on a work order. The resident was home and was “smoking”. The tenant invited the worker in and then asked if he would like to join him in a “smoke”. The maintenance worker accepted the invitation to “smoke” and subsequently became ill and thought he was having a heart attack and an ambulance was called to the property. The maintenance worker was taken to the hospital were it was obvious he was not having a heart attack but maybe a stress attack. The property management company fired the maintenance worker for “smoking” with the tenant. The resident is on a month-to-month agreement. The resident also has a valid medical marijuana card. The property manager is not happy about this incident and would prefer to have the resident move. The attorney advised the manager that it would be appropriate to non-renew and serve the resident with a notice to quit. WHAT THE HECK HAPPENED?? WHERE IS MY STUFF?? A tenant who was out of town on vacation returned to find that her storage unit was now empty. When she went to find out what had happened she discovered that another resident had gone to the management office claiming she had lost the key to that storage locker and need to get into it. Someone in the office failed to verify the identity of the resident requesting the key and gave that person a replacement key. The resident with the replacement key then proceeded to remove all the contents of the storage unit. Our attorney advised that the tenant should immediately file a police report. And, if the identity of the resident who got the replacement key was known, that the manager could serve a Notice to Quit for violation of the Drug Free-Crime Free provisions of the lease. We also instructed the property manager to fill out an incident report with the tenant and ask for a list and documentation regarding what was stolen and to consider filing a claim with the property insurance carrier. Landlord News August 2015 Page 3 Did You Know: August is “Admit You’re Happy” Month! Human Resources & The 7 Dwarfs In every Human Resources report, there is a reason for termination. There are so many possibilities, that we have narrowed the list down to the 7 dwarfs. Here they are: Happy: Had trouble putting nose to the grindstone. Too much time spent telling jokes at the water cooler. Doc: Left to pursue further schooling, in particular, Ph.D. work. Sleepy: Chronically late for work. Caused many project delays. Grumpy: Poor attitude toward work. Not a team player. Trouble with early mornings. Dopey: Made several critical errors at work costing the company money, e.g., misappropriated company funds. Sneezy: Recurrent, chronic illness has made it difficult for the employee to complete work in a timely fashion. Bashful: Lack of initiative. Not willing to make cold calls. Too often let workplace disagreements simmer.     Title Here Actual Lines From Real Resumes  I am very detail-oreinted.  My intensity and focus are at inordinately high levels, and my ability to complete projects on time is unspeakable.  Thank you for your consideration. Hope to hear from you shorty!  It’s best for employers that I not work with people.  Here are my qualifications for you to overlook.  I am a quick leaner, dependable, and motivated.  Strengths: Ability to meet deadlines while maintaing composer.  Enclosed is a ruff draft of my resume.  I have a bachelorette degree in computers.  I am a rabid typist.  I worked as a Corporate Lesion.  Education: College, August 1880 – May 1984.  Education: B.A. in Loberal Arts.  Objective: To have my skills and ethics challenged on a daily basis     Landlord News August 2015 Page 4