To Airbnb or not to Airbnb - Castle Breckenridge Management

As an Association Manager, part of the job is being able to present a Devil’s Advocate view to the Board Members; to allow them to see all options, not just the best recommended option. The California Association of Community Managers (CACM) had a luncheon and invited Joey Bosworth of Airbnb as a Guest Speaker.

As Bosworth was introduced to the audience, I can only imagine that the tension, for him, must have been intense. Many community associations have had to deal with the fallout of short term rentals. To many of those associations, Airbnb is the equivalent of the fox coming into the hen house. The hens are the off-site homeowners who want to make more money than what a 30-day rental would provide. Because vacation rentals in a city like San Diego, attract visitors from all over the world who are willing to pay any price for a taste of San Diego living, homeowners are tempted by the opportunity to cash in.

Some associations allow short term rentals which makes it less difficult for Airbnb to work its magic. They provide off-site owners the opportunity to increase their income by renting their units for days instead of months at a time. The vacation rates vary depending on the location of the unit and what the market will bear, but rates are set by the owners. For example, a unit paying $420 in assessments per month plus mortgage could collect $186 per day for 30 days or $5,580.

There are many associations that do not allow short term rentals. Owners are required to rent for 30 days or longer. The desire to make more money is stronger than the legal agreements between the association and the owners. Airbnb promotes changing the CCRs to allow for short term rentals. In some cases, if it is cost effective for Airbnb, they are willing to pay for the cost of putting it to a vote of the members, according to Bosworth.

There are incentives available for associations that are willing to enter into an agreement with Airbnb. Insurance coverage for damages caused by guests is available and they provide for a percentage of the owners profits to go to the association. Airbnb would conceivably provide the association with a weekly report of each owners earnings and the association would collect a commission for those earnings.


(FB Live with Laurie Poole)


Airbnb is seeking a partnership with associations that allows them to hold contracts with association members without the legal roadblocks that CCRs currently present. Airbnb has created a program called Friendly Buildings Implementation which is designed to persuade associations that this growth industry of vacation rentals is the future and associations need to get on board with it.

There was no preventative solution offered by Airbnb or Bosworth to mitigate the negative reports from residents in the community having to deal with guests who have no intention of following the rules of the community; they are there to vacation. I am reminded of the TV Series, Westworld, where people pay to go to places where rules do not exist for them as the visitor. This is what Airbnb is offering at the expense of the people who live in these communities.