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CalAttorney2
CalAttorney2, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 10244
Experience:  I am a civil litigation attorney with experience representing HOAs, homeowners, businesses and others in real estate matters.
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I live in Denver Co. and past 2 years I have been renting

Customer Question

I live in Denver Co. and for the past 2 years I have been renting out rooms in my home on Airbnb to supplement my income and it has been very lucrative. Around 12 mo ago I met a woman who owns multiple apartment buildings in Denver Co. After explaining my success on earning extra money through Airbnb she offered to lease me an apartment in one of her buildings for 425 a month which i would then furnish/decorate/clean/manage and then list on my Airbnb account and whatever profits where made we would split 50/50. After painting and furnishing the apartment I leased from her down to towels, bedding, dishes ect. I had it fully booked within a week for the entire month at 60$ per night. She was thrilled. That was in May and since then I have done the same thing for 12 other apartment in 4 of the buildings that she owns. During this time because of how time consuming this all became, I put my own business on hold and focused solely on this. She said that in exchange for doing managing in all the buildings she owns (not just for the airbnb clients) she would continue to split profits with me 50/50. She left in june to go to Tialand for 2 months and left me in charge of her buildings. She left signs up in each building saying that her tenants should contact her "Caregiver" (listing my name and phone #) in case of emergency of with
any questions or concerns. I received a letter on july 13 from her attorney stating that i should cease and desist all contact with her and cease and desist from renting any of her properties as short term rentals violating zoning code. The letter stated "we are commencing an investigation into, among other things, Elder abuse, potential condoning of cocaine and other illegal drugs on her properties, conversion of her assets and breach of contract for illegal purposes and other matters. Moreover the activity that you have engaged in likely requires a real-estate lic." I was in shock as the only singed agreement i have with her is that 1st lease i originally singed. And Elder abuse? Then last thursday all 12 of the units that where rented on airbnb had a Notice to quit/vacate on their doors with My name and "ALL Occupants" saying our "Tenancy" was terminated and we should vacate the premises. Can she do that if there is no lease between her and I on 11 of the apartments? And I am also worried about the thousands of dollars of furniture ect I own in each of the buildings not to mention the innocent Airbnb guests who paid money to be there. This is such a mess, and I am worried. Any advice?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.

Dear Customer, you need to hire a civil litigation attorney right away.

  • The air bnb deal is fraught with problems (most people using this as a way to make money are doing so without proper licensing, are not paying hotel taxes, and are skirting other local regulations (you say it has been "very lucrative" - I would be concerned).
  • The notice to quit is likely conditioned on one of these above violations of local ordinances against short term rentals - the landlord can enforce this (even if they were party to the original transaction, they can still play a part in stopping it).
  • Elder abuse - this is a (in my humble opinion) garbage claim that some litigation attorneys throw in whenever their client is over the age of 65 because they want to get the excessive damages that accompany these statutory penalties - in my experience, a business person over the age of 65 is perfectly capable of entering into a business transaction with sound mind and they should be held responsible for their part in it. However, you still need to take the allegation seriously, and deal with it in litigation (just because the claim doesn't have merit, doesn't mean you should ignore it).
  • Your lost profits, etc. - this really depends on what your local attorney tells you about your position regarding whether you are violating local codes (see my first point). If you are within the law on renting your units, you have a good claim. If you are violating local codes and ordinances by operating your Airbnb business, then you don't have any protection for your business, and you are going to need to work very fast to ensure your guests are notified so that they can find new places to stay and will not be suing you for damages.

You can find local attorneys using the State and local Bar Association directories, or private directories such as www.AVVO.com; www.FindLaw.com; or www.Martindale.com (I personally find www.AVVO.com to be the most user friendly).

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you so much for your answer. What I want to know is how she can "Evict" me from 11 apartments that I have no Signed lease for. And, the one that I do have a lease for, if she evicts me will that go on my record and hurt me in the future when I try to rent or buy an apartment or home??
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.

Yes, she can.

I haven't seen any of your documents, but I have a suspicion that the basis for the eviction is "tenant's violation of local codes or statutes" (a "for cause termination").

As you have not only been evicted, but also sued, you have 2 matters.

If you vacate the units within the notice period, there will be no public record of the eviction.

The civil suit is already a matter of public record (it became one as soon as her attorney filed suit in civil court).

This doesn't necessarily affect your ability to purchase a house, the evictions can affect your ability to rent in the future, usually they cause landlords to increase the amount of security they are asking for, but there is no bar or prohibition against leasing to you.

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