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How to a handle a roommate who's abusing their Airbnb privileges

By Virginia K. Smith  | August 18, 2014 - 12:15PM

There are plenty of ways for a roommate relationship to go off the rails, and last week, Gothamist explored one of the very worst: a roommate renting out their room on Airbnb while they take a vacation, leaving you in charge of their guests (and without a cut of the profits). Rough stuff.

A Brooklyn resident, who wrote into the site's "Ask a Native New Yorker" column, wondered if, at the very least, he should get a share of the Airbnb money for having to put up with his roommate's Internet guests. The way Gothamist co-founder Jake Dobkin explains it, there are three main options here:

  • Ask for a portion of the proceeds. Simple, justifiable, and probably your shrewdest option.
  • Tell your roommate to stop this altogether, and, barring cooperation, kick them out (or move yourself).
  • Make the apartment experience unpleasant enough for the Airbnb guest—via loud music, locking of the bathroom doors, and any other tactics you can come up with—that your roommate gets terrible reviews on the site, and thus, can't find new guests.

Of course, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and we were also pretty intrigued by this NYU-generated "roommate contract" Dropkin links to as a means of preventing this kind of setup before it even starts. A lot of it seems like straightforward, common sense information—no guests for more than 7 days without permission from your roommates, equitable division of the utilities, security deposit, etc.—but if there's one thing we've learned with roommates, it's not to make assumptions. Maybe best to get one of these things signed and filed away before strangers with suitcases show up on your doorstep.


How to kick out a roommate—with minimal drama

Lessons from an Astoria man who made $18,000 on Airbnb—legally

How to avoid an Airbnb squatter nightmare

5 things all roommates need to know about renter's insurance (sponsored)

8 classic roommate dilemmas—and how to solve them

What I learned—the hard way—living with 10 roommates in 5 years

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