The Guardian – New York City’s latest plans to crack down on illegal short-term rentals – which could remove as many as 10,000 Airbnb listings later this year – is sparking fierce debates about housing, hotels, the tourist market and residents’ rights.
The new rules will hit those New Yorkers who make extra income by hosting – renting out apartments on Airbnb and similar platforms – but flout city laws, while potentially easing the burden on long-suffering city renters.
Local Law 18, passed by the city council last year, would now require short-term rentals to be registered with the city.
Legal short-term rentals are any properties where no more than two people are hosted, the host resides in the dwelling unit, and where guests have access to all parts of the dwelling unit, according to the city.
Under the crackdown, hosts would need to prove that they reside in the rented properties, that the home is up to safety code and other requirements that amount to a stronger enforcement of existing laws relating to multiple dwellings and permanent residencies.
Platforms that advertise short-term rentals, such as Airbnb and Vrbo, would also be required to ensure that all hosts using the app are abiding by city law and are properly registered.
Previously, the city would rely on individual complaints to address issues with short-term rentals or rely on platforms to enforce the regulations themselves.
But under new rules, any hosts in violation could be fined between $1,000 and $5,000.
This issue has pitted residential communities, hotel businesses, advocates for affordable housing and city leaders across the US and in many other countries near and far against the long-proliferating power and appeal of hosting platforms, given the flexibility they provide travelers.
Santa Monica, California, which Klossner cited as a model for New York, banned renting whole units for less than 30 days, reported the Los Angeles Times. Santa Monica also requires those participating in home-sharing, such as renting out a spare room, to register with the city and pay taxes on the extra income.
Philadelphia also brought in tighter regulations with the new year.
There are over 40,000 Airbnb listings in New York, according to data from Inside Airbnb, a data project on Airbnb and its impact in cities worldwide.