Trade the racket of cars honking and music blaring, for the blissful sounds of whispering wind and singing birds at this charming airbnb getaway in Upstate New York. Not only is this rental off-the-grid (there is no WiFi or electricity), it’s located in an actual treehouse. What the pad lacks in modern convenience, it makes up for in rustic charm and natural ambience. Located in the rural Upstate neighborhood of Argyle, the treehouse, called the Whispering Wind Treehouse on its listing, can accommodate two guests in its one bedroom, starting at $195 per night.
Photo of George Clooney via Wikimedia
George and Amal Clooney’s rental at 116 Sullivan Street has been operating as an illegal transient hotel, according to Page Six. Richard Fertig, the owner of the 19th-century, red brick building in Soho was hit last month by the city with four violations for illegally converting the basement apartment to “transient use.” Authorities say the apartment does not have mandatory fire alarms, exits or a certificate of occupancy.
Photo courtesy of Airbnb
Airbnb is responsible for the loss of between 7,000 and 13,500 long-term rental units in New York City while increasing the median long-term rent in the city by $380 a year, says a new report from McGill University. The study, commissioned by the union Hotel Trades Council, also found 87 percent of entire-home reservations are considered illegal under state law (h/t Politico NY). Mayor Bill de Blasio last year announced his plan to expand the city’s Office of Special Enforcement to crack down on illegal short-term rentals; it is illegal for NYC landlords to rent entire apartments for fewer than 30 days.
Asking $325/night, this secluded Catskills treehouse may be one of the coolest vacation escapes ever, Wed, October 11, 2017
If you’re looking for an escape, it doesn’t get much better than this modern treehouse, nestled among the natural surroundings of the Catskills. This is the work of the UK-based designer Antony Gibbons, who believes the angular lines and pronounced geometry of the structure enhance the organic nature of this forested locale, just outside of Woodstock, New York. Despite the modern aesthetic, the facade is made of cedar from the surrounding Catskills Valley and the interior is lined in a reclaimed pine, in so that the modest home “still blends into the surroundings with its timber materials,” Gibbons has said. If you’re swooning over the space–and wondering what it’s like to live among the trees–it’s now available as a vacation home through Airbnb, asking $325 per night.
If there are two things Sarah Jessica Parker loves they’re New York City and shoes, and she’s now teamed up with Airbnb (yes, you read that right) to share her combined passions with the general public. Last year, the home sharing company launched its Social Impact Experiences, nonprofit-led tours and excursions for which the proceeds go back to the host organization, and recently, they expanded the program in NYC to feature celebrity-hosted events. Parker’s October 6th experience–Sole of the City with SJP–will have only four open spots, each for $400 (h/t NYP). Guests will join the actress at Bloomingdales, where they’ll get a pair of shoes from her collection that’s sold there, eat frozen yogurt at the department store’s Forty Carrots, and then head to Lincoln Center for the New York City Ballet. SJP is an NYC Ballet board member and the proceeds will benefit the dance company.
Photo courtesy of Laffey Fine Homes from a previous listing
With President Donald Trump back in New York City for the United Nations General Assembly this week, a group of refugees is staying at the president’s childhood home, renting the Queens property through Airbnb. The Jamacia Estates home at 85-15 Wareham Place is being rented by Oxfam, an anti-poverty organization, to bring attention to the refugee crisis (h/t NY Post). The group invited four refugees to talk with journalists at the rental, highlighting their concern with Trump’s travel ban on people from six Muslim-majority countries and all refugees that was introduced in January. After facing multiple legal challenges, the Supreme Court allowed the refugee policy to remain temporarily, but justices will hear arguments about the travel ban on Oct. 10.
Photo via NoiseAware
As the number of short-term rentals skyrockets across the country so does the chance of noisy tenants, and with that, complaints from neighbors. A new startup has developed a way for property owners to become more courteous neighbors. NoiseAware, founded by two short term rental managers, developed noise-tracking software that distinguishes noise from true nuisance and alerts landlords with a text message when it violates the threshold (h/t Fast Co.Design). Users of the software, what the company calls a “smoke detector for noise,” can customize quiet hours, the noise threshold and alert preferences.
Photo courtesy of Laffey Fine Homes from a previous listing
President Trump, who is currently in New Jersey on a 17-day vacation, announced that he will travel to Trump Tower this Sunday. While his Midtown penthouse will be getting a lot of attention this weekend, his childhood home in Queens is also making headlines. The home at 85-15 Wareham Place is up for rent on Airbnb, according to a recent listing on the company’s website (h/t NY Post). The modest Tudor style home in Jamaica Estates is listed for as much as $725 per month. The home features five bedrooms, sleeps 20 people, and includes a life-size cut out of POTUS in the living room. Even though the president only lived there until he was four years old, according to the listing, “this is a unique and special opportunity to stay in the home of a sitting president.”
In an attempt to crack down on illegal short-term rentals, Mayor de Blasio’s budget for the fiscal year 2018 allocates $1.6 million to expand the city’s Office of Special Enforcement, the department that inspects and fines landlords who rent entire apartments for fewer than 30 days. Adding to these efforts, an anti-Airbnb coalition made up of public officials and housing organizations/unions created a hotline for New York City tenants to report any illegal rentals, as reported by the Daily News. Beginning today, ShareBetter will start receiving actionable complaints.
While the state’s updated anti-Airbnb bill has now been in effect for three months, the city has issued fines on just 139 illegal listings, out of the nearly 24,000 that reportedly need to be investigated. The recently enacted legislation builds on the state’s 2010 law that makes it illegal to rent out an apartment for less than 30 days without the owner present. The new law goes further by making it illegal to advertise these short-term rentals through websites like Airbnb. As Crain’s explains, based on the number of listings on the company’s website, it would take the Mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement nearly 43 years to investigate all of them.