Theres a new startup in Brooklyn, called Common. It is similar to Air BnB but with a twist. Instead of short stays its more of a monthly rental, but at lower costs then market value. It is a hot commodity due to its freshness, cost, and appeal to millennials. Basically, its a 19 room house with bedrooms, kitchens, and living rooms. The prospective tenants send an application to Common and if they are accepted they pay below market rent. Common basically does all the work involved of being the landlord and finding room mates. Common takes care of background checks, liability etc. This sound great for such a fast growing city like Brooklyn. Read more about them here.
The main concern we have with Common are our concerns with bed bug issues. To date, rental services such as AIR BnB have no rules that state the hosts should have annual pest inspections done. Air BnB pretty much let the host rent out their space until someone complains. The only time AIR BnB will jump into action and address any bed bug issues is when there is a complaint of bed bugs by a guest. Air BnB are commended that they actually get involved at some point, but we feel as if they should get involved in these bed bug issues before they become a problem. Although many feel as if these companies are here for the quick buck, sometimes they aren’t just aware as to the severity of bed bug infestation in NYC.
What these big rentals companies do not understand is that when people are staying at a Air BnB location for a short stay, they may not notice the bed bugs at all. Sometimes these infestations could get pretty serious before any guests figure it out. By that time these bed bugs could have been spread around the city and even potentially brought home with the guests. There have been many occasions that we have treated Air BnB properties and the host has not even notified Air BnB.
So, We challenge this new startup, Common, to get aboard and have a 6 month check up of pests on their properties become mandatory. We urge Common to reach out to us and have some dialogue about this very real issue in NYC of bed bugs. We have some ideas that we can believe that may help you be differeniate your self from the typical landlord/rental situation. When you inform your customers of how you intend to be different and go against the grain when it comes to bed bugs, you will seem more well rounded and educated of the issues in the city your starting up in. The worst reputation NYC landlords have are when they are faced with problems such as bed bugs. So ,Common, wants to try to be so different, we think they should develop something to keep bed bugs away in the first place!