Thursday, December 17, 2015

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Renters may soon be able to legally host Airbnb guests.

The accommodations website is in talks with three of the country's largest apartment operators to expand the service to renters in return for a cut of the revenue, the Wall Street Journal reports. Though many leaseholders already list their rooms, they risk eviction by doing so as it goes against many renter contracts. Considering renters' already widespread use of the website, Airbnb spokesperson Christopher Nulty told Fortune in a statement, "It would be news if we weren't talking to landlords."

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According to the report, Airbnb has been discussing potential deals with Equity Residential, AvalonBay Communities Inc., and Camden Property Trust. The three companies control a total of about 250,000 units, and coming to an agreement could mean thousands of additional listings on the website.

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Airbnb has become such a huge force in the hospitality industry that hotels have even begun to list rooms on the platform. As Equity Residential's chief operating officer, David Santee, told the Journal, "You just can't turn your head or keep your head in the sand over what's going on."

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A deal has yet to be agreed upon, and talks appear to be in the very early stages. "The ideas that were discussed are just that — ideas that we are considering as we move forward," Nulty stated, adding "nothing is decided yet."

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