Airbnb is now banned from listing short-term rentals in NY

Airbnb is now banned from listing short-term rentals in NY

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday signed the strictest bill in New York's history against Airbnb renters, imposing fines of as much as $7,500 on people who rent out rooms in their apartments. Thousands of short-term apartment rentals are listed for New York City despite a 2010 law that prohibits rentals of fewer than 30 days when the owner or tenant is not present. In a column in the New York Daily News, the company said it would limit hosts in the city's five boroughs to renting a single home, a proposal created to protect the residential housing supply and deter property owners from running illegal hotels. "We here in NY know how to write strong tenant protection legislation that does not run afoul of federal law, and I hope other cities and states will soon follow our lead". Supporters - including labor unions often allied with Cuomo - say many short-term rentals are already prohibited by state and local laws.

Airbnb has also sued the Southern California city of Anaheim, home to the Disneyland theme park, and the nearby beach city of Santa Monica, over regulations that the company contends are illegal. In its 19-page lawsuit, Airbnb claims that the statute conflicts with, and is preempted by, section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996, widely considered landmark legislation for free speech on the internet.

Critics of Airbnb and comparable services contend that listings drive up prices, disrupt communities, and, in heavily trafficked cities like NY, attract commercial operators who employ the services as veneers for illegal hotels.

Proponents of the bill, including New York State Senator Liz Krueger, were pleased with Cuomo's decision to approve the bill. The company last month also held a summit for its New York City hosts, where it handed out postcards and encouraged them to write the governor a message "about why you love hosting". "The law signed today will provide vital protections for NY tenants and help prevent the continued proliferation of illegal, unregulated hotels, and we will defend it", he said in a statement.

The bill, which passed both houses of the New York Legislature in June, represents one of the harshest restrictions on Airbnb rentals in the U.S, according to NBC New York.

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As of August, Airbnb had 45,000 city listings and another 13,000 across the state.

Airbnb, in a statement, disputed that conclusion and called the group's analysis "misleading".

It's not clear how many fines will actually be imposed.

In New York City, the state Attorney General found that, between 2010 and 2014, more than 300,000 Airbnb reservations violated the law, representing about $304 million in booking revenue, with about $40 million of that going to Airbnb.

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