Airbnb Sues New York Over New Short-Term Rentals Law, State Won’t Enforce It Yet

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The latest govermnent to impose rules on short-term rental site Airnbnb is New York: while the law is statewide, it’s mostly intended to clamp down on whole-apartment rentals that critics say are affecting the supply and prices of housing in New York City. The governor signed the law on Friday, and Airbnb immediately sued. Now the state won’t enforce the law until the lawsuit has been resolved.

Technically, the types of rentals that the new law penalizes were already illegal. Rentals of a bedroom while the owner is home or of a single-family house or townhouse when the family isn’t home are fine, but empty apartments in buildings with three are off limits.

That was the existing law, and a 2014 report by the office of state attorney general Eric “Please Stop Calling Me Spider-Man” Schneiderman noted that 72% of listings on Airbnb at the time violated state and/or city laws about short-term rentals.

What the new law does is raise penalties for illegal short-term rentals, and apply those penalties to the tenants (who are the Airbnb hosts) instead of the building’s landlord.

This afternoon, the state agreed not to enforce the law until Airbnb’s lawsuit has been resolved.

Airbnb Seeks Halt to N.Y. Sublet Law, Fearing Large Fines [Bloomberg]
N.Y. Won’t Enforce Anti-Sublet Law Until Airbnb Suit Is Resolved [Bloomberg]

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