Airbnb sues New York City over upcoming rental restrictions

NEW YORK — The Airbnb tourist accommodation platform sued New York City on Thursday for the restrictions that it will apply as of July on its short-term rentals, which require hosts to register with the local administration.

New York, which is one of the main markets for Airbnb, passed a law last year whose regulations it will begin to impose on July 1 with the aim of regulating the short-term rental business and tackling illegal activities at a time when in which the big tourist city suffers a housing crisis.

The company argues in its lawsuit, seconded by a group of hosts, that the new measures constitute “a de facto ban on short-term rentals” in the city and that they will “drastically” reduce available rentals.

Airbnb said its preference is “to work with the city on a regulatory framework that differentiates between New Yorkers who share their space responsibly and illegal hotel operators” but has had to “stand up” after “exhausting all available avenues until a sensible solution “.

Many hosts have complained that the local administration’s registration system is so “complicated” that it makes it “almost impossible” to get the green light to operate, and, according to the lawsuit, Airbnb expects only a “tiny number” to get it.

Apart from that, New York imposes other measures described as “punitive and burdensome”: it prohibits hosts from putting internal locks on the doors of the rooms, or renting entire apartments where they will not be present for reasons such as travel.

In a separate lawsuit, the hosts add that the measures also violate their right to privacy, as they are required to provide “sensitive” information about their home, and they are “unfairly forced to understand a complicated web of legal codes.”

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Airbnb said it is pending whether the administration or the court “changes the current date” of application of the measures, and next Tuesday it will guide its clients on the consequences of the restrictions on reservations after July 1.

2023-06-02 00:13:15
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