What’s going to happen to Airbnb in New York?
By Enrique Dans : mediaum – ecerpt
The New York State Senate last Friday passed a bill making it illegal to advertise unoccupied apartments for short-term lets of less than 30 days. The bill, which has already been dubbed the anti-Airbnb law, now awaits a veto or approval by New York state governor Andrew Cuomo, would impose a $5,000 fine for first offenders and up to $7,500 for repeat offenses.
New York is the world’s sixth-most popular tourist destination in the world, and receives more than 12 million visitors a year. After Paris, it is Airbnb’s most important market. A law of this kind, in a city with some of the most expensive hotels in the world, is going to make life very difficult for many tourists, as well as for the owners of apartments looking to make some money on them through a platform that is increasingly working with them to improve their profitability.
The driving force behind the legislation is the powerful Hotel Trades Council, the biggest hotel labor union in New York, which describes Airbnb as a threat to the jobs of its members, as Linda Rosenthal, the representative proposing the law, recently stated:
“You should know who your neighbor is and what happens when people rent out their apartments on Airbnb is you get strangers. Every night there could be different person sleeping in the next apartment and it shatters that sense of community in the building. It also can be dangerous.”
According to Airbnb’s own surveys, a large number of New Yorkers use Airbnb as a way to earn some extra money by letting out rooms or their entire apartment. Backers of the law say that entire apartment blocks are being turned over to Airbnb lets, meaning they are operating as unlicensed hotels, and that such accommodation could be used by local people looking for a permanent home in a city with a chronic housing shortage and some of the highest rents in the country…(more)