Airbnb, the site that lets you rent out your apartment or house like a bed-and-breakfast, violates the New York City hotel law that prevents you from renting out your property for less than 29 days.
The law was originally put in place as a means to stop landlords from running illegal hotels from their property.
Those of you running your black market Airbnb housing operations in the city right now, don't panic just yet – this law is only actionable as a secondary offense. For example, if the police show up after a noise complaint and then find you renting out your place, only then are you in extra trouble.
Would-be slumlords better run a tight ship. At the time of this writing there are over 1,000 places available in New York City through Airbnb.
Airbnb has provided us with the following statement:
"This decision runs contrary to the stated intention and the plain text of New York law, so obviously we are disappointed and we are considering all appeal options as we move forward. Put simply, this decision is wrong on the law, and bad for New York. The laws in New York and around the world are confusing and often contradictory, but we intervened in this case because this was the one area of the law that seemed most clear. This decision demonstrates how difficult is for hosts and even companies like ours to adequately understand laws that were not meant to apply to regular people hosting to make ends meet.
"And more importantly, this decision makes it even more critical that New York law be clarified to make sure regular New Yorkers can occasionally rent out their own homes. There is universal agreement that occasional hosts like Nigel Warren were not the target of the 2010 law, but that agreement provides little comfort to the handful of people, like Nigel, who find themselves targeted by overzealous enforcement officials. It is time to fix this law and protect hosts who occasionally rent out their own homes. 87 percent of Airbnb hosts in New York list just a home they live in -- they are average New Yorkers trying to make ends meet, not illegal hotels that should be subject to the 2010 law."
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