Courts disagree about whether covenants prohibiting "commercial use" of real property apply to short term rentals like Airbnb. While some courts have said that such rentals do constitute commercial use, see, others have found the use not to be commercial but residential in nature. The Arkansas Supreme Court joined the courts that find Airbnb to be a residential rather than a commercial use of property. Vera Lee Revocable Trust v. O'Bryant, 537 S.W.3d 254 (Ark. 2018). Accord, Slaby v. Mountain River Estates Residential Ass'n, Inc.,100 So. 3d 569 (Ala. Ct. Civ. App. 2012).
This is an ongoing debate among courts:
Some courts hold that short term rentals (such as Airbnb rentals) violate covenants that restrict the property to “residential use,” finding short-terms rentals to be closer to hotel use and thus commercial in nature. Vonderhaar v. Lakeside Place Homeowners Ass’n, 2014 WL 3887913 (Ky. Ct. App. 2014).
Other courts find short term rentals to be compatible with “residential use” and not a violation of such restrictive covenants at all. Wilkinson v. Chiwawa Communities Ass’n, 327 P.3d 614 (Wash. 2014); Santa Monica Beach Property Owners Ass’n v. Acord, 219 So.3d 111 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2017).