Sept. 5 marks the enforcement of new short-term rental (STR) rules in New York City that have already spurred thousands of Airbnb hosts to drop their listings, calling them “extreme and oppressive” and constituting a de facto ban against STRs. The dismissal of lawsuits by Airbnb and three hosts against the rules means they can move forward, with industry observers noting other cities could use them as a model for their own STR policies. The rules dictate that STR hosts must register with the city, will be prohibited from renting out an entire apartment or home, and must be present during guests' stays. Violations can lead to fines as high as $5,000, while booking platforms could face penalties of up to $1,500 for processing payments from unregistered hosts. “Requiring that homeowners be in the house while hosting short-term rental guests will drive down the availability and usage as individuals, both homeowners and guests, don't want to live with strangers,” said Pam Knudsen at tax specialist company Avalara. “These types of unfamiliar, close quarter contacts could create additional problems for multiple city service organizations and also have a negative impact on the city's reputation.” However, AirDNA's Bram Gallagher suggested the immediate effect on Airbnb's rentals may be partly alleviated by New York's reduction of thousands of listings because of the pandemic and the regulatory atmosphere.
PhocusWire (08/28/23) Derek Catron