Daily Mail: New Airbnb NYC law halts new reservations as new rules require owners to register with city and hosts must live with guests in rentals

Daily Mail: New Airbnb NYC law halts new reservations as new rules require owners to register with city and hosts must live with guests in rentals


September 6, 2023


Airbnb rental options in New York City have shrunk after cumbersome new governmental restrictions went into effect on Wednesday and essentially became a ban on vacation rentals.


The newest regulations require hosts to register with the city – or face a $5,000 fine – and guests must have access to the entire property.


If the rental is under 30 days, the host must stay with the guests. Rentals are also limited to two people, which effectively eliminates many families from using Airbnb in the Big Apple.


‘The city is sending a clear message to millions of potential visitors who will now have fewer accommodation options when they visit New York City: You are not welcome,’ Theo Yedinsky, Airbnb’s global policy director, said in a statement.


However, backers of the law say the regulations are needed in the industry and will help eliminate complaints that come from short-term rentals such as noise and parties.


The New York City regulations went into effect and have led to far fewer listings in the five boroughs. Existing short-term rental reservations with check-in dates on or after December 2 will be canceled and refunded, the company said.


The home-sharing giant told its NYC hosts that they would have to comply with the new law, otherwise their rentals could be deactivated.


Airbnb estimated last month that there were about 15,000 active hosts renting out homes in the city. By August 28, the city had gotten about 3,250 registration applications for the new rules and only 257 of them were approved.


Also known as Local Law 18, the Short-Term Rental Registration Law was passed in January 2022. City officials said renting homes to tourists, not New Yorkers, worsens the city’s housing shortage and drives up living costs.


The city should have enforced the law in March this year, but Airbnb fought the law in court, saying the new rules would hurt travelers looking for affordable stays.


The company also said the registration system was too complex and argued the law was basically a ban.


That case was dismissed in August, setting up the regulation to go into effect.


Airbnb could lose millions of dollars in one of its biggest and most profitable markets. The company said in the lawsuit that it earned $85 million in net revenue in 2022 in New York City.


Airbnb stock price was down about one-half a percent to $142.07 by late-trading Wednesday.


The regulation could benefit the hotel industry, which competes with platforms like Airbnb. According to STR, a company that analyzes hospitality data, New York City experienced the highest occupancy level (85.4 percent) among other markets, which was up 1.7 percent year over year, and was the only market to post an average daily rate over $300.


In a Facebook group for professional hosts on Airbnb, VRBO and Booking.com, NYC hosts have been asking for help.


‘New York is basically shutting down STR’s for everyone unless it’s 31 days or more pre a class B dwelling . Anyone from the NYC market that has any advice on how to proceed?’ Jamaal Johnson asked in the group.


While, Hannah Nguyen said she has been a long-term host that is now left in the cold.


‘I started Airbnb since 2011 in Brooklyn, New York. I had gone through many difference changes with Airbnb and NYC, and starting Sept 5th I can’t even allow to do Airbnb roomshare as the newest laws,’ she wrote.


Renters have also been fuming over the new regulations that saw many vacation dreams dashed.


‘This hit just two days ago, and it caused my first Airbnb in two years to be canceled less than twelve hours from my arrival. This lead to a long stint with customer service to get me a new place,’ Facebook user Eric Cherry stated.


‘When your NYC Airbnb host bails on you 20 days before your trip and everything else is either booked or 3x the price,’ X user Mariah Kenner stated.


While some social media users who said hotel prices have spiked with the new Airbnb rules in place, the leader of the city’s hotel association disputed those claims.


‘The rise in hotel price has no relation to the law,’ Vijay Dandapani, the president of the Hotel Association of New York City, told Dailymail.com.


‘The Hotel Association fully supports the law, which is not a law against Airbnb or any platforms, but against converting homes to hotels,’ he added.


Dandapani argued that the law was not unique for New York City, but existed in similar forms in all large cities like Paris and Barcelona.


‘It’s not the Hotel Association’s job to accommodate everyone who want come to New York to come to New York,’ Dandapani said.