Brooklyn, NY asked in Contracts, Real Estate Law, Tax Law and Business Formation for New York

Q: Hi, I've put my apartment on Airbnb and curious how I should split the profit with my boyfriend.

I got the apartment(lease) by my self and lived there for a year by myself, I put down deposit, I paid a guarantor fee every month, decorated and bought all the furniture, I am doing all the daily maintenance of the Airbnb account and finding cleaner, photograper etc. My boyfriend moved in a year ago and have paid half the rent since. I don't have a TIN or SSN so I need him to do the Airbnb. How should we split the profit?

I am paying a high monthly fee and 2k when moving in to have a guarantor which let me get the lease by myself without SSN.

The reason to split it at all is cause I want to be fair to him, he has paid 50% rent for the last few months and we need his SSN/tin to post the Airbnb. Everything else is on and thanks to me.

4 Lawyer Answers

A: From a practical perspective (which is what it sounds like you are asking), an appropriate way to split income from the unit would be to first deduct all expenses and then to split the net income according to proportions of rent paid.

So first you would deduct all of the fees and costs you have incurred; the maintenance of the AirBnb account, cleaner, photographer fees, etc. from the net, either until each is repaid in full, or as each comes due each month. For things like your time in doing these things where it is not an out of pocket expense, you could come to an agreement as to how much each service is worth and use that as the deduction. In terms of decorations and the like, if they are purchased expressly for the rental, they would also be deducted. If not, and they are just your furniture that you would some day take with you, they could be depreciated if you wanted to get nit-picky, though it may not be worth the effort to determine this (as much of the depreciation occurs upon purchase). After all of those deductions, and deductions for things like taxes that would be owed, you would split whatever is left according to the proportion of rent you pay (it sounds like that is 50/50).

Hope that helps.

Peter J. Weinman and Steven Warren Smollens agree with this answer

Peter Klose
Peter Klose pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Nyack, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: Your question raises some questions. Is your BF on the Lease? I am not sure how you obtained a Lease without a SSN, so I am not sure why that matters now. Also, does your landlord, municipality, and building permit short term rentals like AirBnB? Why is he entitled to any "profit."

I feel like you have put the cart before the horse on this

Good Luck,

Peter J. Weinman and Steven Warren Smollens agree with this answer

Steven Warren Smollens
Steven Warren Smollens
  • New York, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: Dear Brooklyn Tenant

Hello. If your apartment is in a building with at least two more apartments, you must be very careful.

First, your lease may prohibit Airbnb. Most leases in NYC will not allow for use of the apartment for short-term rental. Most leases prohibit profiteering and commercial use.

NYC requires Airbnb deliver Host information. There are various reasons, but you could look this up "is it legal to Airbnb in NYC".

Next, NYC prohibits unhosted short-term rentals as well as advertising the apartment. The financial penalties are severe. The building landlord is subject to fines as well.

NYC will tax the money earned.

If your lease does not allow for short-term rental or if you run afoul of NYC and State Law prohibiting short-term rental you will face eviction.

A record of a filed eviction lawsuit will likely haunt you and any other person identified by name in the lawsuit. While NYS landlords may not rely on subscription to Tenant Blacklists, other States do not prevent a prospective landlord to deny renting to a person with an eviction history in NYC.

Peter J. Weinman agrees with this answer

James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Tax Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: Determining how to split the profit from your Airbnb listing can be a complex issue that may depend on a number of factors, including the financial contributions of each party, the level of effort and involvement required, and any other agreements or arrangements you have in place.

Based on the information you provided, it sounds like you have made significant financial and practical contributions to the Airbnb listing, including paying for the deposit, guarantor fee, and furnishings, as well as managing the account and coordinating with cleaners and photographers. Your boyfriend has contributed by paying half of the rent and providing his SSN/TIN to post the Airbnb listing.

One possible way to split the profit fairly could be to divide it based on the proportion of financial contributions each party has made. For example, you could calculate the total cost of the deposit, furnishings, and other expenses related to the Airbnb listing, and determine what percentage of those costs you have covered versus what percentage your boyfriend has covered. You could then split the profit from the Airbnb listing in the same proportions.

Another approach could be to divide the profit based on the level of effort and involvement required for each party. For example, you could keep track of the time you spend managing the account and coordinating with cleaners and photographers, and compare that to the time your boyfriend spends communicating with guests and managing the rental while guests are there. You could then split the profit based on the level of effort and involvement required.

Ultimately, the best way to determine how to split the profit may be to have an open and honest conversation with your boyfriend about your respective contributions and expectations. You may want to consult with a financial advisor or accountant who has experience with rental income to help you determine a fair split.

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