New York City will begin this Tuesday to apply a series of restrictions to short-term rentals that tourist accommodation site Airbnb considers a “real” obstacle to its operation.
The new regulations require all hosts to register with local authorities, as New York prohibits renting out entire apartments within 30 days of the owner’s absence, which this type of business often does not respect.
“The city is sending a clear message to the millions of visitors who would otherwise be less likely to stay in New York: You’re not welcome,” said Theo Yedinsky, Airbnb director of global policy.
Even among cities that have decided to regulate tourist apartments, such as Los Angeles and San Francisco, the New York regulations are an anomaly, explained a spokesperson for the forum.
He argued that Airbnb has been trying for years to work with authorities to address the problem of illegal apartments, but the city has “decided to pass new rules that create a ‘de facto’ ban on short-term rentals.”
The spokeswoman questioned whether the measures would help lower rent prices in the housing crisis-hit Big Apple. In June, Airbnb sued the city and got the restrictions to take effect a few months later, as the regulations were scheduled to go into effect on July 1. However, a judge dismissed the case last month, saying it was “rational” for authorities to want to limit the legality of the apartments on offer.
In a message on its website, the site expressed its regret at the dismissal of its case and reminded that until today they had two options: register with the authorities or extend their stay beyond 30 days.
However, Airbnb will not cancel bookings that were already initiated before December 1st. Starting after December 2nd and not complying with the terms will be canceled and guests will be refunded.
According to The New York Times, heThe city estimates about 10,000 Airbnb apartments will be fraudulent by 2022. As other cities around the world come under tourism pressure, New York officials believe the proliferation of tourist apartments is contributing to higher rental prices for permanent residents and exacerbating the city’s housing crisis.
Despite the news, Airbnb shares rose 7% after half an hour of trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
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