City begins enforcing law restricting short-term rentals – NBC New York
Looking for a place to stay in New York City? Your options may now be more limited than before.
That’s because starting Tuesday, the city will begin implementing a new law that restricts short-term and vacation rentals, such as those listed on sites like Airbnb and VRBO.
Properties owned by hosts on these and similar sites will now have to register with the mayor’s office. But that’s not where the rules end – or what will have the biggest impact on the sites business.
According to the new law, no more than two guests are allowed to stay at the same time. Hosts must also be physically present during the guests’ stay. This means that those looking to list their entire apartment on Airbnb will no longer be able to simply list it, they can only list available bedrooms in the home they live in.
Simply put: those hoping to get themselves an apartment or an entire house from Airbnb, VRBO, or others will not be able to do so, as the homeowner will be in the house with them for the duration of their stay.
The new rules aim to end the free-for-all situation in which landlords and residents of the city rent out their apartments by the week or night to tourists or others in the city for short stays.
Under the new system, rentals of less than 30 days are only allowed if hosts register with the city. Hosts must commit to being physically present in the home for the duration of the lease, and sharing the living quarters with their guest. Also, no more than two guests are allowed at the same time, effectively banning families.
Platforms like Airbnb, VRBO, and others are not allowed to process rentals for unregistered hosts — and as of early this week, only a handful of people had successfully signed up. The city says it has approved just under 300 of the more than 3,800 applications it has received.
Airbnb has previously described the restrictions as “extreme and oppressive” and an effective ban on short-term rentals left the company with no choice but to file a lawsuit.
“These features of the registration system, taken together, seem intended to drive the short-term rental business out of New York City once and for all,” Airbnb said. The company said the mayor’s office of special enforcement “failed to consider reasonable alternatives.”
Officials and housing advocates who pushed for the restrictions said they were necessary to prevent apartments from becoming de facto hotels.
“In New York City, condos should be for residential use,” said Murray Cox of Inside Airbnb, a housing advocacy group that collects data on the company’s presence in cities around the world.
Airbnb has challenged the rules in court, arguing that they were essentially a ban and would harm visitors looking for affordable accommodations.
But since Aug. 21, the company — which had 38,500 active non-hotel listings in New York City as of January — said it had stopped accepting new short-term reservations from any host who did not provide a city registration number or documents that were in the process of being processed. It said that once the city’s verification system is fully operational, no short-term listing will be allowed on its site without a registration number.
Some owners of small homes said they were unfairly targeted and combined with larger apartment buildings.
“I think that’s a big sign that our elected officials have failed us,” said Crystal Payne, who lives in a two-family home in Brooklyn and has been renting an apartment to help pay off her mortgage.
The city adopted the regulations in January last year, but they were delayed by legal action until last month.
While online rental listing services have given travelers more choice in New York — and have been a financial windfall for residents who rent while on vacation — they have also led to complaints about a dearth of housing in tourist-devoured neighborhoods.
Ordinary tenants complained about buildings suddenly becoming like hotels, with strangers in their hallways and occasional parties in rented units. Investors have acquired units in apartment buildings, or entire townhouses, and then amassed a fortune through overnight rentals, which are prohibited by law.
“Registration creates a clear path for hosts who follow old city laws and protects travelers from illegal and unsafe accommodations, while ending the proliferation of illegal short-term rentals,” said Christian Klausner, executive director of the city’s Office of Enforcement. a permit.
In guidance published after the legal decision last month, Airbnb told New York City hosts that they should either register with the city or switch to hosting long-term stays if possible. The company also said that any existing short-term booking with check-in by Dec. 1 will be allowed to move forward, with a processing fee refunded, while bookings with check-in dates after that will be canceled and refunded.
Airbnb’s director of global policy, Theo Yedinsky, called the rule changes a blow to “the thousands of New Yorkers and small businesses in outer boroughs who rely on homeshare and tourism money to help make ends meet.”
“The city is sending a clear message to the millions of potential visitors who will now have fewer accommodation options when they visit New York City: ‘You are not welcome,'” he said.
(Marks for translation) AirBnB