Illegal Airbnb Listing?

I recently heard about someone who was renting out their apartment via Airbnb, then I read this Fast Company article called: “This Website Snitches on Renters Who List Their Apartments on Airbnb.” It mentions the website that tracks it is called: Huntbnb. I am sure they are a viable company and many landlords connect with them to be sure their properties are not listed. At the time I thought it was odd that tenants would do such a thing. As a landlord myself, I would never want to find out that my tenants were renting out my condo for others to use. The article cites that in New York City, one-third of apartments are being rented in an illegal manner.

When you go through the vetting process to find renters, you want to find individuals that you can trust, that will take care of the property, and that will alert you when there are issues. If tenants are then turning around and renting the place that they have signed a lease for, in order to make money and have other individuals utilize the property then not only is it illegal, but it is a breach of trust. When a lease is signed it is intended that those on the lease will be the ones that are staying at the property.

I can imagine that legal property and lease documents will continue to be honed and revised because of individuals that are going against principle and legal means in order to make more money. There are so many involved legal issues and liabilities with having individuals stay in a property when no paperwork was transacted with the owner and those staying on the property. There could be issues with theft, damage, fire, etc. To me it has nothing to do with the tenants making money and everything to do with contracts/leases that are signed and the choice of who is staying on the property. There is a reason there is a vetting process for rentals. If a property is listed on Airbnb it should be there because it is truly owned and used as an Airbnb (or other type of rental) that is listed by the owners themselves.

If you are a landlord and are renting your property how do you feel about having your tenants rent out your property on Airbnb? If you are a tenant, would you “sublease” your place on Airbnb?

Too young or too old?

Last night I was in a store and the woman asked what I was looking for, and if she could help me. I gave her my usual response: “I am just looking.” Unless I cannot find what I think I should be able to find, or I need a different size, I am a leave-me-alone kind of shopper. She then proceeded to ask me if I had any kids and if I was back-to-school shopping. I was a bit shocked about the question (the age for the store would be a tween store). Did she really think I was that old?

While it is completely numerically possible for me to have a tween, and even a kid in college (yikes). I believe it is the first time that I have ever been asked if I was back-to-school shopping for children I do not have. Maybe I was a bit more shocked because just mere weeks ago I was carded while out with work colleagues. When the woman saw how old I was I could see she was shocked. I then asked her how old she thought I was, and she said under 30.

While I should be flattered by her subtracting 6+ years from my life, the entire age thing baffles me. How can one individual think I look much younger than I am, and another potentially assume I have a tween. I know I am stretching the store comment a bit (and I know I had crazy bags under my eyes after a long day and week), but I am perplexed. After getting carded, I could not get over it. Those with me told me it is a compliment and I can see what they mean, but does it also mean that I act younger than I should?

Or, should I just shut up and be grateful that the waitress took years off my life and know that years from now I will look back and want someone to do that for me again?

Pour Some Water on Me

For any of you that are on Facebook you will know that your feed this past week has been filled with friends and family who are raising awareness for ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease. The focus: ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. It is a great way to use social media for a good cause. However (yes there is a but), my hope is that all the individuals that are doing the ice bucket challenge actually donate money. The awareness campaign is that by having ice + cold water poured over you that you are outing yourself from paying $100. Individuals that get nominated have 24 hours to do the challenge or donate $100.

Awareness is great, supporting ALS financially takes it to an entirely different level. What if we took the time to raise awareness, and put our money and/or our support next?

I love the fun and humor of making a video and putting oneself out there online, I only hope it does good. Think of all the other initiatives and programs that could benefit from such challenges. Of course we’d all be broke, and it would get old, right? How do we keep the freshness on continuing the momentum via social media where we have access to so many people, yet do it in a way that promotes true awareness? For example, the ALS website has been shared in most of the videos that I have seen, and there has been a plethora of high-profile athletes, CEOs, and past presidents that have joined into the mix, but have we really learned more about ALS? Do you know what it stands for? Do you know how your money can help?

Be careful, I might go Laura Bush on you and decide that I do not want to mess up my hair and just donate the $100. However, it is hot here in Oregon, and a little cold does the body good.

What do you think?

Distinct and sassy

I am not a follower. I was not always that way. As a kid I was a follower. Quiet, introverted, and not as bold about who I was or who I wanted to be in the world. Over time that changed. It was never about trying to be someone else, but more about being present for who I am, using my voice, and being direct about what I wanted. It did not come easily to me. Our world does not always reward someone for standing out, often we are rewarded for following the lead, marching in a single file, and following the rules.

That does not mean that I do not follow principle or what is right. I still find it important for following certain paths. Take driving for example. If I decide that I get to obey my own laws, then others could be hurt, killed, or I could be hurt or killed. There are many, many things in life that following the rules make our life work together cohesively. Yet, there are many things in our world that following others mean that we are not thinking for ourselves, we are just following the leader.

Recently I blogged about the book: “Unthink” by Erik Wahl, and found this quote was a great reminder of how easy it is for us to do “what everyone else is doing.” This quote that Wahl shares is from Alan Ashley-Pitt:

“The man who follows the crowd, will usually get no further than the crowd. The man who walks alone is likely to find himself in places no one has ever been before…You have two choices in life: you can dissolve into the mainstream, or you can be distinct. To be distinct you must be different. To be different, you must strive to be what no one else but you can be.” page 197

How often do you just go with the status quo, and how often do you make choices that mean you step out of your normal day-to-day and think differently? The harder road is to veer off course, to the bumpy road, the road less traveled, and find your niche. You can pave your own way to be bold, beautiful, and of course if I were involved a little bit sassy. I mean why not?

Not asking for help

I will tell you now. I have a horrible time asking for help. Chris can back me up on this – I rarely ask for help. Part of it has to do with how I grew up, where I had to balance life, school, homework, being an awkward teen, taking care of my mom and all the household items that connected to that (paying the bills, groceries, cleaning, etc.). Due to all of those crazy tasks added to my plate from the age of twelve, I am used to juggling many balls, sometimes balls of fire. I am used to it, and it means that even to this day I have a hard time saying: “Can you help me?”

I recently found this article called: “Why Are We So Afraid of Asking for Help?” on the Daily Worth website. The funny part is that the article talks about not asking for help in the context of being a woman. Sure, that does not help my strange childhood upbringing. Yes, I am also a hardcore woman, and I want to be able to do anything. You know the line from: Annie Get Your Gun: “Anything you can do I can do better, I can do anything better than you.” That was always the mantra in my life. As the youngest of three, I wanted to make sure I could keep up, so if my sister and brother could play a board game, I would try to figure out how to play it so I can be included, and then I would concentrate, watch, and figure out how to beat everyone. To my disadvantage, eventually they did not want to play with me because I would kick their butt.

In any case, needing help. I never really learned how to ask for help. Generally, as a kid when I would ask for help, it would not come through, so I would just figure it out on my own and not expect anything from anyone. Sad, but true. I still have a hard time. The thought: ‘you could ask for help to do this’ rarely crosses my mind. Except for with Chris. Somehow he has me whooped, and I usually have no problem asking him for help. Maybe he wishes I was not so addicted to his help, but I think he should feel enamored. I have wholeheartedly given him my heart, and my ability to ask for help.

I am learning to ask for help, but the road is slow. Be patient with me.