New Bill Adds Penalties of up to $7,500 to Airbnb Laws

June 20, 2016

The 2010 legislation that forbids some properties from being listed on sites like Airbnb–whole apartments without the original tenant present, for example–was just given more firepower. WSJ reports that both houses of the New York City legislature just passed a bill stating that advertisers of those illegal short term rentals could be smacked with fines of up to $7,500. According to Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, a Manhattan Democrat who sponsored the bill with Staten Island Sen. Andrew Lanza, “This bill will clarify that if you engage in such renting, there will be stiff penalties.”

The original legislation, popular with the hotel industry and more of the city’s Democrats than Republicans, has raised the ire of the tech sector, predictably. Those who would limit–or ban altogether–the tech company and its brethren like VRBO and Onefinestay say renting out city apartments to vacationers takes already scarce housing off the market; proponents of the services counter that they have little serious effect on the housing market and provide valuable supplemental income to those who need it. Tech advocacy groups say the bill sends a negative message to potential new companies.

Hotel unions and the Real Estate Board of New York both backed the new bill, which still needs Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s signature in order to become law. Though the bill merely adds penalties to the laws already in place and states that an already illegal activity can’t be advertised online, it did serve to spur debate about important housing issues the city faces.

[Via WSJ]



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