License or Lease? The Contractual Limits of the Sharing Economy

By: Elizabeth P. Levin
– Commercial Property Executive

As tech innovators find new ways for people to share and swap living and working spaces, a legal question remains unanswered: what rights do these sharers have to the spaces they occupy? Is the shared desk in a co-working space treated like an office lease? Is a monthlong rental of a mansion the creation of a landlord-tenant relationship? Though the proprietors of co-working spaces and the owners of short-term rental properties have tried to make clear that these are not traditional landlord-tenant arrangements, that premise has not been truly tested, and the question of how a court would treat such an arrangement looms large over those drafting the contracts that govern these arrangements.

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