Partner Roberto Blanch Quoted in Article by Daily Business Review on Airbnb Rentals in Communities with Associations

Siegfried Rivera
April 6, 2016

Roberto C. Blanch

Roberto C. Blanch

Firm partner Roberto C. Blanch was quoted by reporter Carla Vianna of the Daily Business Review, South Florida’s only business daily and official court newspaper, in an article that appeared in today’s edition about the issues facing community associations involving short-term rentals via Airbnb.  The article reads:

Guests hoping to stay at a condo during the Miami Open tennis tournament found themselves stuck in a lobby with no access to the unit they rented on Airbnb, the online home-sharing service.

The family was denied keys to the property by the condominium’s management company.

. . . Miami-Dade County’s sunny beaches and high-rise condos make it a top destination for home-sharing networks like Airbnb and its users. The influx of visitors opting for alternatives to Miami’s pricey hotel rooms, like the family visiting for the Miami Open, is pushing demand for short-term rental options.

An estimated $2.4 billion was spent on lodging via Airbnb during the year ended in September 2015, commercial real estate firm CBRE Inc. reported. More than 55 percent was captured by five U.S. cities: New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami and Boston.

The rise of a sharing economy is creating a rift between condo owners looking to make extra cash and association boards whose members don’t want to share an elevator with strangers.

. . . “It has become a problem in a lot of condos,” said Roberto Blanch, a Miami attorney with Siegfried Rivera.

dbr logo-thumb-400x76-51605Associations at Mint and Ivy, two high-rise towers in downtown Miami’s Riverfront complex on the Miami River, are cracking down by restricting elevator and garage access to residents with a specific key fob or vehicle barcode, said Ari Tenzer, founder of the Tenzer law firm. Tenzer, who sits on his condo association board, said property managers are logging onto the Airbnb site themselves to catch violators.

Suspected violators receive written notice as a warning. They could also be called before a grievance committee.

The article concludes:

. . . Airbnb and similar home-sharing services have become viable options for owners looking to turn their second homes into income-producing assets, especially during leasing gaps.

. . . Miami-Dade County Commissioner Juan Zapata released a memorandum April 1 calling for an agreement that would enable the county to collect the tourist development and convention development taxes, better known as bed taxes, from home-sharing networks.

The services “cannot continue to go unnoticed and unregulated,” Zapata said in a statement. The commissioner told the Daily Business Review that similar tax agreements have been reached with the service in other major markets.

“Airbnb generated a lot of money in Miami,” Zapata said. “We need to be collecting this money. These are dollars that we need.”

Our firm congratulates Roberto for being called on by the Daily Business Review for his insights into this growing issue for community associations.  Click here to read the complete article in the newspaper’s website (registration required).