New Report Says 56 Percent of 2015’s Airbnb Listings Were Illegal
Last week, both houses of the New York City legislature passed a bill that would fine advertisers of illegal short-term rentals on Airbnb up to $7,500. Current state law dictates that an apartment can’t be rented out for less than 30 days if the lease holder isn’t present. And a new report from two housing advocacy groups — MFY Legal Services and Housing Conservation Coordinators — shows that of Airbnb’s 51,397 listings in 2015, 28,765, or 56 percent, fell into this illegal camp. Of those, 8,058 units were considered “impact listings,” homes that “are rented out for brief periods for more than a third of a year, making them virtual hotels,” according to the Post.
Courtesy of Airbnb via Facebook
If these units had been on the market, the city’s rental stock would increase by 10 percent, note the advocates. They also stated that 30 percent of all the listings were controlled by commercial hosts who “rented multiple units for at least three months a year or had a single listing up for more than six months a year,” generating $317.5 million in annual revenue. And despite Airbnb’s claims of serving New Yorkers throughout the city, the report also found that 90 percent of listings were in Manhattan and Brooklyn; the East Village and Williamsburg had the most.
Airbnb spokesperson Peter Schottenfels called the study “misleading” and said, “We need to work together to find solutions that actually benefit middle-class New Yorkers, including how to protect responsible home sharers, rather than protecting the interests of the well-connected hotel industry.”
You can read the full report here (pdf).