New York State Moves to Limit Airbnb Short-Term Rentals

By Paul Riegler on 17 June 2016
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DSC_5258 (2)New York State moved Friday to limit Airbnb’s activities in the state.

The State Assembly and State Senate passed a bill that restricts the advertising of the vast majority of full-unit rentals for periods of less than 30 days in New York City. While such short-term rentals were already illegal, the new bill, which awaits the governor’s signature, will fine anyone who advertises a rental that violates the state’s short-term rental law.

The first violation carries a penalty of up to $1,000, the second, $5,000, and subsequent violations will cost hosts $7,500.

The bill was strongly supported by the hotel industry in the state as well as by advocates for affordable housing, while Airbnb and many in the tech sector lobbied against it.

“It’s disappointing – but not surprising – to see politicians in Albany cut a last minute deal with the hotel industry that will put 30,000 New Yorkers at at greater risk of bankruptcy, eviction or foreclosure,” said Josh Meltzer, Airbnb’s New York head of public policy, in a statement. “Let’s be clear: this is a bad proposal that will make it harder for thousands of New Yorkers to pay the bills.”

The San Francisco-based startup has tried to convince cities and states to support short-term rentals by citing the increase municipalities would experience in tax revenue. The company claims that it could provide more than $2 billion in additional taxes to the 50 largest U.S. cities in the next decade

“This smart and innovative legislation will allow law enforcement agencies to better target, track, and penalize lawbreakers, while also protecting one of New York’s most vital economic contributors – the hotel and hospitality industry,” the Hotel Association of New York said in a statement.

The bill, said Assemblyman Linda B. Rosenthal, a sponsor of the bill, will “give law enforcement the tools they need to crack down on illegal hotels that destabilize communities and deprive us of precious units of affordable housing.”

Last week, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted 10-0 to strengthen its existing short-term rental laws. Websites such as Airbnb that publish listings for short-term rentals will be required to include an official registration number from the city indicating that the property has been approved as a short-term rental.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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