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Airbnb taps security partner for first home-sharing property

In a move that looks to stymie opponents of home-sharing, Airbnb development partner Niido has announced a deal with smart access platform, Latch.

In October, Niido announced its partnership with Airbnb to build new apartment buildings designed with home sharing and flexible living in mind.

The first building, expected to open this summer in Kissimmee, FL, will allow residents to share their units for up to 180 days each year.

Residents will also get access to tools provided by Niido, including a new app that is integrated with Airbnb to support checking-in and assisting guests during their stay.

When guests book their stays at Niido apartments, they will receive digital credentials which, upon arrival at the Niido buildings, will give them access to the apartment they booked and all the doors necessary to become part of the Niido community.

Luke Schoenfelder, CEO at Latch, said the technology simplifies the home sharing process and encourages safe and secure experiences.

“Safe and seamless access sharing is crucial to the success of home sharing platforms like Niido that represent the future of hospitality and modern living. We are excited that our products are enabling that future, beginning with Niido,” added Schoenfelder.

The new deal is being viewed as reaction to crackdowns against Airbnb across the country amid claims they home sharing service is taking permanent housing off the market by renting out units to tourists, creating illegal hotels and threatening community safety.

New York has some of the toughest restrictions on short-term rentals in the country. In most of the city, it is illegal to advertise or rent an entire apartment on a platform like Airbnb for less than 30 days unless the host is present and there are only one or two guests,

Vijay Dandapani, the president and CEO of the Hotel Association of New York, said, “My guess is they’re [Airbnb] looking to do something that’s less controversial. It’s probably going to be compliant with multiple dwelling usage laws in this locality it’s being situated. Once you do that, you’ll have less controversy.”

According Dandapani, many Airbnbs in the city are operating as hotels without having to follow city regulations. He explained that Airbnb rentals usually don’t have fire safety regulations and aren’t ADA compliant.

Niido co-founder and chief managing officer, Cindy Diffenderfer, said their system allows tenants to rent out their homes for a maximum of 180 days. The new partnership with Latch, she added, addresses security issues.

“We believe that Niido creates a great solution for all aspects of those concerns,” Diffenderfer said.
In January, Brookfield Property Partners invested $200 million in the Niido venture. The first $20 million is being used towards the Florida project and the rest is for a pipeline that includes three other sites, according to Niido.

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