New York City’s new regulations on short-term rentals are causing heated discussions about housing, hotels, the tourist market, and residents’ rights. These rules will affect New Yorkers who make extra income by renting out their apartments on Airbnb and other similar platforms but do not follow city laws. The goal of the regulations is to enforce existing laws related to multiple dwellings and permanent residencies, which could lead to as many as 10,000 Airbnb listings being removed later this year. The new law requires short-term rentals to be registered with the city, and hosts must prove that they reside in the rented property and that the home is up to safety code and other requirements.
Christian Klossner, the executive director of the New York City mayor’s office of special enforcement, who will oversee the implementation of the law, states that ordinary people have been lured onto the Airbnb website, where it is easy to advertise illegal occupancy without restraint. Airbnb’s main launching page recruits hosts based on the revenue they could make from entire home occupancy, which is not permitted in the city.
The Coalition Against Illegal Hotels and the West Side Neighborhood Alliance chair, Tom Cayler, emphasized that Local Law 18 enforces dwelling requirements that already exist. Platforms such as Airbnb and Vrbo must ensure that all hosts using the app are abiding by city law and are properly registered. Previously, the city relied on individual complaints to address issues with short-term rentals or on platforms to enforce the regulations themselves. Under the new rules, any hosts in violation could be fined between $1,000 and $5,000.
This new law has sparked a debate that has pitted residential communities, hotel businesses, advocates for affordable housing, and city leaders across the US and many other countries against the long-proliferating power and appeal of hosting platforms. Many people view Airbnb as a tool for landlords who do not want to be landlords and are taking housing off the market that should be rented to tenants.
According to Klossner, neighbors living near a short-term rental often complain about disruption, including noise, weekday parties that can feature excessive drinking and drug use, and other disturbances as well as security concerns. “People want to feel safe and secure and at peace in their homes,” said Klossner. “Short-term rentals very often turn into a disruption of that peace.”
However, proponents of Local Law 18 have also criticized the impact that short-term rentals can have on neighborhoods. For example, renting out space via Airbnb helped Farhana Chowdhury pay for her mortgage and children’s college education. She wrote in a city online forum that it is unfair that they have to be so restricted in their own homes.
Airbnb has commented on the pending law, saying that the new regulations could hurt New Yorkers who rely on short-term rentals amid the rising cost of living in the city. Airbnb’s public policy regional lead, Nathan Rotman, issued a statement, which said: “Airbnb agrees regular New Yorkers should be able to share their home and not be targeted by the City, and we urge the administration to work with our Host community to support a regulatory framework that helps responsible Hosts and targets illegal hotel operators.”
In conclusion, the new regulations in New York City regarding short-term rentals have sparked a debate about housing, hotels, the tourist market, and residents’ rights. While some believe that the regulations are necessary to ensure safety and security in residential areas, others argue that they limit people’s ability to use their own homes for extra income. It remains to be seen how the regulations will be enforced and whether they will have a significant impact on the housing market and the tourism industry.