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.
Asking $325/night, this secluded Catskills treehouse may be one of the coolest vacation escapes ever, Wed, October 11, 2017
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.
With the announcement of Mayor de Blasio’s new executive budget on Wednesday, the shaky relationship between the short-term rental company Airbnb and New York City continues. As reported by Crain’s, the city plans to crack down on illegal short-term rentals by spending an extra $2.9 million over the next two fiscal years. For the fiscal year 2018, the mayor plans to pour $1.6 million into expanding the city’s Office of Special Enforcement, which inspects and fines landlords who rent entire apartments out for fewer than 30 days.
With its value nearing $30 billion dollars, it’s hard to deny Airbnb’s influence and disruption in the American hotel industry. Since its founding in 2008, the short-term lodging company has serviced about 150 million travelers, in three million listings in more than 191 countries. And as the New York Times reported, the hotel industry has launched a plan to take action against the company’s growing market share. The plan includes a national campaign at the local, state and federal levels to counter Airbnb by lobbying politicians and attorneys general to reduce the number of Airbnb hosts and fund studies that show they do not collect hotel taxes and are not required to follow the same safety and security regulations that hotels must follow.
To make money and stay social after retirement, older New Yorkers are turning to Airbnb. According to a report by the company, the population of senior citizens hosting visitors through the website continues to grow faster than any other demographic in both New York State and City. The Daily News reports that in NYC, the number of elderly Airbnb hosts jumped 60 percent in the last year. Specifically, the Bronx saw a 120 percent leap and Queens a 199 percent increase. While this shows a clear boost, senior citizens still only make up about four percent of the city’s total listings, or about 1,043, up from 649 the year before.