A New York Bill Could Make Listing Your Home on Airbnb Illegal
The New York State legislature passed a bill last week that would make advertising entire-home rentals for fewer than 30 days illegal. The bill would affect many of the city’s residents who rent out their apartments on Airbnb while they are away. Now it is up to Governor Andrew Cuomo to sign or veto the bill.
The new bill would mean that anyone who attempts to rent out their entire home would be subject to a fine of $1,000 for a first offense and up to $7,500 for a third violation. The law would not apply to people who only rent out a room, while also staying in the apartment themselves.
The bill has been criticized by many of Airbnb’s high-profile investors such as actor Ashton Kutcher and venture capitalist Paul Graham:
— ashton kutcher (@aplusk) June 17, 2016
The @NYSenate is trying to quietly rush through a bill banning Airbnb. If you'd like the decision to be more democratic, tell them.
— Paul Graham (@paulg) June 17, 2016
Renting out an entire apartment for less than a month has already been against the law in New York City since 2011, but this new bill would make advertising for such rentals illegal as well. While the multiple dwelling law that took effect in 2011 was meant to target illegal hotel businesses and landlords who own multiple units, it also made the actions of ordinary people in need of some extra income illegal.
If the new bill is signed into the law, it will not only be bad for the company but would also put 30,000 people in New York City at risk of being evicted, according to a survey conducted by Airbnb. After the bill made its way through the state legislature, company spokesperson Josh Meltzer said in a statement:
It’s disappointing—but not surprising—to see politicians in Albany cut a last-minute deal with the hotel industry that will put 30,000 New Yorkers at greater risk of bankruptcy, eviction or foreclosure.
Linda Rosenthal, a member of the State Assembly the bill’s sponsor, said in a statement:
This bill, once it’s signed into law, will send a strong message that we prioritize hardworking New York families and affordable housing, and will give law enforcement the tools they need to crack down on illegal hotels that destabilize communities and deprive us of precious units of affordable housing.
The next step is to wait for the Governor to either approve or reject the bill, making Airbnb partly illegal or not. If you live in New York you can weigh in on the bill here.