Airbnb Offers Deal To NY: Repeal Rental Law And Collect Taxes From Users

Three years ago, New York passed a law banning people from renting out their apartments for less than 30 days at a time. That measure largely makes it illegal for people to use Craigslist, Airbnb or other services to turn their apartments into hotels and offer rooms to tourists who are in the city for less than 30 days.

Scofflaws face the prospect of large fines, which could wipe out the profits they make from renting their apartments. Recently, a city agency vacated a $2,400 fine levied on a condo owner who rented his apartment to a tourist -- but only because the owner's roommate remained in the apartment while the visitor was in town. Given that many people don't stay in their apartments while paying tourists visit, that ruling leaves many Airbnb users at risk.

Despite the law, the apartment-sharing service estimates that 15,000 New York City residents use Airbnb to rent their places to travelers. Given those numbers, the company must know that its business could suffer a big hit if the law catches up to users.



Now, CEO Brian Chesky is trying to make a deal with the state.  He is offering to support a requirement for Airbnb users to pay taxes, provided the state reconsiders the law banning home owners from making short-term rentals. “Our hosts are not hotels, but we believe that it makes sense for our community to pay occupancy tax, with limited exemptions for those who earn under certain thresholds,” he writes in a blog post. “We would like to assist New York City in streamlining this process so that it is not onerous.”

It's worth noting that the law against short-term rentals isn't the only problem Airbnb faces in New York: Many residents have leases that prohibit them from subleasing their apartments -- at least not without prior approval. What's more, people who sublease illegally often face eviction proceedings -- which often is a more daunting prospect to than the threat of fines by a city agency.

1 comment about "Airbnb Offers Deal To NY: Repeal Rental Law And Collect Taxes From Users".
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  1. Michael Spitz, October 4, 2013 at 5:56 p.m.

    Let me test THIS:

    DOES....ANYONE know...and I mean, just regular, everyday NYC citizens know that:

    IF someone....a guest....spends 30 days or more in your apartment/property, rented or, owned....and you want them OUT, you NOW have to assume the behavior, diligence and expense to EVICT them and they seem to have the "legal right" to trash and vandalize your appartment, says the "PO-LICE"...

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