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Massive multifamily trade groups take on Airbnb

NMHC and NAA go to bat for the right of owners and operators to restrict short-term rental activity

The Nation Multifamily Housing Council and the National Apartment Association are going to bat for the multifamily industry in court.

Back in 2017, a California court ruled against an Aimco apartment community’s (La Park La Brea) claim that Airbnb helped facilitate lease violations after residents complained that Airbnb users were negatively affecting quality of life at the property.

Airbnb argued that it cannot be held responsible for the actions of multifamily residents because users must agree not to violate any agreements with third-parties (i.e. property managers).

Aimco lost the case on the basis that Airbnb’s publication of rentals that users post on its website is focused on content rather than rental activities under the Communications Decency Act. The court granted Airbnb immunity for the listings.

Now, Aimco is appealing the lower court’s decision in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and both the NMHC and the NAA are in its corner. The two groups filed an amicus brief, supporting Aimco’s appeal highlighting their belief in the precedence of property rights and the need for apartment owners and operators to choose whether they want to allow short-term rental in their buildings or not.

NHMC and NAA hold that multifamily companies and other property owners should have the right to choose whether to participate or not in the short-term rental market and be able to restrict short-term rental activity in their properties to protect the quality of life for their residents.

“At its core, our filing in this case simply comes down to the need to preserve property rights and maintain the ability to enforce resident lease’s," NMHC Vice President of Government Affairs Kevin Donnelly said in a statement. "To be clear, our industry remains open to short-term rental activities within our communities, but only so long as it is done so legally and with owner involvement and consent.”

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