Under the new law, home sharing services, such as Airbnb, are required to disclose the names and addresses of their hosts and may face fines.

Photo credit: guests.com

On Monday, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed into law a bill that requires home sharing companies, like Airbnb, share the names and addresses of its NYC hosts in a monthly report or face fines.

The new law aims to help the city crack down on illegal short-term rentals. 

Under New York State law, it is illegal to rent out an apartment for less than 30 days unless the tenant is residing in the apartment at the same time. The bill, which was first proposed in May and unanimously passed by the City Council in mid-July, will make it easier for the city to go after landlords who turn apartments into illegal hotels and tap into the city’s housing stock that should be available to New Yorkers, as Comptroller Stringer stated in a report.

Councilmember Carlina Rivera, who introduced the bill, thanked Mayor de Blasio for signing the bill into law. 

“I worked as a housing organizer on the Lower East Side, where I heard countless stories from tenants and organizers about illegal short-term rentals jolting them out of the security and stability of an affordable home,” said Rivera. “With the new law, we will finally address this crisis by requiring short-term rental services to report vital data to the Mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement, allowing them to pursue more effective oversight and action over the bad actors that exist throughout this largely unmonitored market.”

In addition to requiring monthly reports from home-sharing services, the companies may also face a fine of up to $1,500 per listing or the amount of fees collected on the listing in the preceding year, whichever is greater.

“This law provides the city with the critical data it needs to preserve our housing stock, keep visitors safe, and ensure residents feel secure in their homes and neighborhoods,” said Christian Klossner, executive director, Mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement.

Airbnb claims the bill is a move prompted by the hotel lobby industry and affecting middle-class New Yorkers who rely on the additional income generated by sharing their homes.

“We are disappointed Mayor de Blasio chose to sign this hotel industry-backed bill instead of defending the needs of middle class New Yorkers who rely on sharing their home to get by,” said Josh Meltzer, head of Northeast Policy for Airbnb in a statement. “While the mayor himself has said regular New Yorkers should not be the target of enforcement, many responsible homeowners are currently facing aggressive, unchecked policing and are fearful of what will happen under this new legislation. As we continue to advocate for our host community across the five boroughs, we hope to work with the mayor to create common-sense regulations that finally distinguish these families from the few bad actors who should feel the full force of the law.”

The law will take effect in 180 days.

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Andrea Leonhardt

“Made in Germany,” Andrea Leonhardt is the managing editor for BK Reader. Andrea holds a bachelor’s degree in political science, with minors in American studies and education, and a master’s...

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