While there are not many things landlords, tenants, and elected officials can agree on, they have come together against illegal rentals.
The rules have been proposed by the city’s Office of Special Enforcement to implement Local Law 18. This law requires that hosts who use Airbnb or other home-sharing websites register their short-term rentals.
The Real Estate Board of New York voted in favor of the proposed rules. They cited cases in which landlords were penalized for reporting illegally rented apartments to tenants. Owners could avoid legal liability for illegally renting out their buildings by having a registry of short-term rentals that is permitted and a list of buildings where such units cannot be used.
Jan.’s local law was passed to keep track of the number and prohibit people from renting more than one unit at a given time. These rules will establish the process of creating a list of buildings that are not allowed to rent out short-term apartments.
Hosts must verify that the unit is not located in a building that prohibits such rentals. Short-term rental registration numbers are not permitted for rent-regulated units.
Sherwin Belkin, a Landlord lawyer, agreed that the rules could help bring short-term rentals “out of shadows” and give owners greater control over their buildings and any potential liabilities from the people who live in them.
Several state officials, as well as Tenant PAC’s Michael McKee (a long-standing nemesis to landlords), testified Monday in support of the rules. They noted that illegal short-term rentals take much-needed housing units off the market.
The law in the state prohibits renting out residential units for less than 30 days unless the resident is there full-time. Although the law is difficult to enforce, the registry was established by the city. However, some repeat offenders have been rooted out. The city will issue hosts a registration number that will confirm their legality to rent short-term spaces.
Similar restrictions have been enacted in other cities. According to reports, Airbnb had to take down thousands of listings after Boston adopted registration rules for short-term rentals in 2019.
Many Airbnb hosts voiced their disapproval of the proposals. They argued that homeowners should be treated differently than hosts living in multifamily homes. Aimee Thrasher is a retired nurse who said that she wouldn’t be able to afford to pay her mortgage if she didn’t get income from Airbnb.