Airbnb And Housing Laws

Florida Court Rulings Bolster Aimco Claims, Deny Airbnb Motion for Dismissal


The Miami-Dade 11th Circuit Court last week denied Airbnb's multiple motions to dismiss the lawsuit launched by three subsidiaries of Apartment Investment and Management Company (Aimco) and cleared the way for the Aimco subsidiaries to pursue claims against the short-term rental giant which has intentionally brokered unauthorized short-term rentals at Aimco communities.

"The court decisions this week allow us to continue with our case and affirm that Airbnb can be held accountable for the illegal short-term rental activities it knowingly promotes at our communities," said Aimco Spokesperson Cindy Lempke. "Our residents deserve to know their neighbors and to live in a safe, peaceful environment without the disruption of transient vacationers whom Airbnb continues to send to our communities." 

Here are highlights of this week's court decisions:

  • The Court denied Airbnb's attempt to dismiss the case based upon an assertion that a previous California federal court ruling should apply in Florida. The court order makes it clear that the California ruling does not apply because the claims relate to illegal acts occurring in Florida under Florida law.
  • The Court rejected Airbnb's argument that the Communications Decency Act (CDA) provides blanket immunity to Airbnb when the travel company is "involved in every step of the short-term rental process." Airbnb's actions -- including the marketing of Aimco communities to travelers, soliciting residents to rent out their apartments, providing travel support and financial services, and the development of original content -- go beyond the passive publishing of third-party online content that the CDA was enacted to protect.
  • The Court upheld all of the claims asserted against Airbnb: tortious interference with lease agreements; trespass and aiding and abetting trespass; deceptive and unfair trade practices; and injunctive relief to stop Airbnb from engaging in any short-term rental activity at Aimco properties.

To protect the safety and quality of life of its full-time residents, Aimco subsidiaries in California also are pursuing an appeal of the trial court's decision in California where they were joined by a broad coalition of partners last week who filed amicus briefs in support of that appeal against Airbnb. 

Despite repeatedly notifying Airbnb that short-term rentals are expressly prohibited in Aimco lease agreements and asking Airbnb to stop, Airbnb has refused to cease brokering unauthorized short-term rentals. Unlike prospective Aimco residents who undergo criminal background checks, many Airbnb customers are unvetted and unknown travelers who pose potential safety risks. Many have also caused disruption and, in some cases, property damage at Aimco apartment communities.

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