Airbnb Files Lawsuit Against NYC Following New Bill

From www.justluxe.com by Nicolle Monico
Airbnb Files Lawsuit Against NYC Following New Bill

It was only a matter of time before we started to see more Airbnb restrictions and bans in the states. New York City is the latest to create a new law against home-sharing sites by fining hosts $7,500 for listing their apartments on short-term rental websites.

Across the pond, the home-sharing service has already been regulated (in some form or another) in Paris, Barcelona, Berlin, Iceland, Amsterdam and London. In the US, San Francisco only allows full-time residents to rent their apartments with a cap of 90 days for stays. Santa Monica has already cleaned out about 80 percent of Airbnb listings by instituting some of the toughest parameters in the nation.

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This isn’t the first time the New York has cracked down on home-sharing sites. City officials made it illegal to rent an entire apartment in 2010 for less than 30 days. This new law, however, is so much stricter that Airbnb filed a lawsuit against NYC mayor Bill DeBlasio, New York state attorney general Eric Schneiderman, and the city of New York just hours after the bill was signed. The company claims that the restrictions would cause “irreparable harm” to its business.

According to The New York Times, the city is the company’s largest market in the US, generating about $1 billion in revenue last year from its hosts. The company took a cut of that in fees. While locals have mixed reactions to the law, part of the decision to regulate Airbnbs is because they pose safety risks and quality-of-life problems. “Airbnb can’t have it both ways: It must either police illegal activity on its own site, or government will act to protect New Yorkers,” said Schneiderman in a statement.

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Locals are seeing more landlords renting out apartments at premiums to visitors rather than offering them at market value for locals. In an already expensive market, Governor Cuomo states that home-sharing “compromises efforts to maintain and promote affordable housing by allowing those units to be used as unregulated hotels.”

The legislation came after years of negotiating between New York officials and Airbnb. But even with the new bill and bans in other places around the nation, don’t expect to see home-sharing sites to disappear completely. We have a feeling they'll most likely adapt as time goes on rather than throw in the towel.