City proposes rules for Airbnb’s short-term rental registry

Airbnb’s Brian Chesky and Mayor Eric Adams (Getty)

There are few things landlords, tenants and elected officials agree on, but they have united against a common enemy: illegal rentals.

The city’s Office of Special Enforcement has proposed a series of rules for implementing Local Law 18, a measure that requires hosts using Airbnb and other home-sharing sites to register their short-term rentals.

The Real Estate Board of New York has come out in favor of the proposed rules, pointing to cases where landlords have been penalized for reporting tenants who were illegally renting their apartments. The register of authorized short-term rentals, as well as a list of buildings where such units are prohibited, could help landlords avoid liability in the event of illegal use of their buildings by tenants.

The local law, signed into law in January, aims to track the number of short-term rentals in the city and prevent people from renting more than one such unit at a time. The rules would set out how hosts apply for registration numbers, as well as a process for creating the list of buildings where short-term rentals are prohibited.

Prospective hosts must certify that their listing is not in a building where the owner prohibits such rentals. Rent-regulated units are never allowed to apply for short-term rental registration numbers.

“Establishing a list of prohibited buildings will ensure that landlords and tenants do not have to struggle with visitors who, in some cases, have had a negative impact on the quality of life in the buildings due to traffic unwanted, noise and safety concerns,” said Ryan Monell, vice president of REBNY. chairman of government affairs, said in prepared remarks for a Monday hearing.

Landlord lawyer Sherwin Belkin agreed the rules could help bring short-term rentals “out of the shadows” and give landlords more control over their buildings – and any potential liability that may arise from those who live in them .

Several state officials and Michael McKee of Tenant PAC, a longtime nemesis of landlords, also testified Monday in favor of the rules, noting that illegal short-term rentals are taking much-needed housing off the market.

State law prohibits renting a residential unit for less than 30 days unless the full-time resident is present. The registry derives from the law being difficult to applyalthough the city has rooted out some serial offenders. Starting next month, hosts won’t be able to use short-term rental platforms without a city registration number, which will verify the legality of their listing for rental.

Other cities have adopted similar restrictions. When Boston passed the check-in rules for short-term rentals in 2019, Airbnb would have been forced to delete thousands of registrations.

In a virtual press conference ahead of Monday’s hearing, Airbnb’s Nathan Rotman called the rules “complicated and overly restrictive,” and said they “will significantly limit lodging and tourism” and ” will hurt ordinary New Yorkers who rely on home sharing to make ends meet.” .”

A number of Airbnb hosts have spoken out against the proposals, arguing that landlords should be treated differently from hosts in multi-family buildings. Aimee Thrasher, a retired nurse, said she wouldn’t be able to pay her mortgage without the income from Airbnb.

“These laws won’t hurt Airbnb,” she said. “They will hurt me and others like me.”

Comments are closed.