Airbnb

Policy

Airbnb, Housing, Tourism, Hotel

Photo via Airbnb

Airbnb filed a lawsuit against New York City on Friday, following the passage of a law that requires the website to disclose the names and addresses of hosts. The lawsuit claims the new law is an “extraordinary act of government overreach” and violates the U.S. Constitution. The new law, passed by the City Council last month, makes it easier for the city to regulate illegal units, or apartments rented for less than 30 days without the permanent tenant present.

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Policy

nyc skyline, new york skyline, manhattan

Via CC

Airbnb announced on Wednesday it will donate $10 million to a select group of nonprofit organizations as a way to highlight a bill pending in New York State Legislature that would allow the company to collect taxes from its guests. According to Airbnb, the $10 million represents one-tenth of the projected tax revenue it could generate if the legislation is approved by state lawmakers. The initiative, called “A Fair Share,” comes a week after Mayor Bill de Blasio signed into law a bill that requires Airbnb to disclose the names and addresses of its hosts, as a way to crack down on illegal listings.

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affordable housing, Policy, real estate trends

Via CityRealty

Update 8/7/18: Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday signed into law a bill that cracks down on the number of illegal Airbnb listings in New York City. Taking effect in February 2019, the new law requires the company to disclose the names and addresses of its hosts. The information will be turned over to the Mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement. 

The New York City Council passed a bill on Wednesday that requires Airbnb and other home-sharing sites to provide the names and addresses of its hosts to the city. Under state law, it remains illegal in most buildings to rent out an apartment for less than 30 days unless the permanent tenant is there. Just hours before the council unanimously voted for this legislation, an Airbnb host from Brooklyn, Stanley Karol, sued the city in federal court for fining him $30,000 after speaking out against the bill. “I believe that the City has sought to silence me, by not only saddling me with massive fines, but also making me feel unsafe in my own home,” Karol said.

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adaptive reuse, Getting Away, Upstate

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.

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Celebrities, Policy, Soho

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.

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affordable housing, Policy

Airbnb, Housing, Tourism, Hotel

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.

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Getting Away, Interiors, Upstate

Antony Gibbon, catskills treehouse, airbnb, treehouse vacation catskills, woodstock

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.

Imagine your upstate vacation

Celebrities, Events

Sarah Jessica Parker, Bloomingdales

Bloomingdales via Wiki Commons; Sarah Jessica Parker via Wiki Commons

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.

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Celebrities, Jamaica, Policy, Queens

85-15 Wareham Place, Donald Trump, Airbnb

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.

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City Living

noiseaware, noise pollution, noise sensors

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.

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