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Last week, the New York State Legislature sent a bill to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s desk that, if signed, would ban many Airbnb listings — specifically short-term rentals lasting fewer than 30 days — throughout the state.
While many short-term listings in Manhattan that offer an entire apartment are technically in violation of ordinances that were passed last year, these regulations are not yet actively enforced. But the new regulations would be statewide and could have an immediate effect on almost 2,000 rentals in the city and many more in the state as a whole.
The worst part? If signed, the Attorney General would have the power to impose hefty fines on individual hosts who continue to list their properties and homes, even if Airbnb’s site does not ban them. First-time violators would be fined $1,000 — that amount would increase to $5,000 for a second violation and $7,500 for any subsequent violations.
Airbnb says that this bill is bad for New York, period. “It’s disappointing — but not surprising — to see politicians in Albany cut a last-minute deal with the hotel industry that will put 30,000 New Yorkers at at [sic] greater risk of bankruptcy, eviction or foreclosure,” said John Meltzer, Airbnb’s head of public policy in New York.
So, what’s the other side arguing anyway? The bill officially states, “The legal prohibition against transient occupancy in these dwellings was instituted to ensure that all buildings comply with fire, building and other safety codes relative to their class.”
If you’re a New Yorker and have an opinion about this bill, let your legislators know, here.
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