Airbnb Targeted by New York Senate Bill

Via Reason Magazine

New York’s state Senate has passed a bill, which now awaits action from Gov. Andrew Cuomo, that would make it a crime to advertise an entire apartment for rent for a period of fewer than 30 days.

First offenders would be fined $1,000, but that would balloon to $7,500 for a third offense.

Linda Rosenthal, a state assemblywoman who supported the law, was quoted in The Verge as saying that it’s not aimed at any individual trying to make a buck with spare space but at ” commercial operators….bad actors who horde multiple units, driving up the cost of housing around them.” She also raised the fearful spectre of lots of people you might not know sleeping in the apartment next door. 

As Gothamist notes, doing the short-term renting of a complete apartment was already illegal in New York City at least. This new bill makes even advertising it illegal. Travel and Leisure notes estimates that slightly over half of the city’s Airbnb’s are thus already illegal. And Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, says Mashable, thinks it’s 72 percent already illegal.reported back in Reason‘s Feburary 2015 issue on this contention, and on the $33 million in taxes the state feels it is being denied by AirBnb. 

Unsurprisingly, the hotel industry is all for this bill, and Airbnb is against it. New York TV station Pix11 reports that an Airbnb spokesman says the state’s lawmakers ” “cut a last-minute deal with the hotel industry…[this is] a bad proposal that will make it harder for thousands of New Yorkers to pay the bills.”

Cuomo’s office has not yet stated his intentions.