ForumDaily New York: New York imposes a ban on short-term apartment rentals: what will happen to Airbnb
August 18, 2023
The era of unregulated Airbnb services in New York is coming to an end. This is especially true for those landlords who have converted $800 rent-stable apartments into $7000 suites.
Many tenants reported that the amenities advertised do not correspond to reality. The authorities passed a new law regulating daily rent in the city. Thecity figured out how the new system will work and whether you can legally stop at Airbnb in New York.
The City passed legislation in January 2022 to register and regulate short-term rentals, such as those featured on the Airbnb website. Airbnb and some hosts sued to stop the policy, but a judge dismissed their claims in early August. This means that from September 5, the situation with the provision of rooms for rent will change.
Visitors may not worry about being fined, but there are some pitfalls to watch out for. So where can you stay? What is allowed and will you get in trouble for staying in a non-kosher place?
Finding safe and affordable housing in New York’s five boroughs is a very difficult task, and if you’re doing it from afar, it’s even more difficult, especially if you want to avoid illegal offers. Here is a guide to finding accommodation.
Can I legally book New York accommodation through Airbnb?
First of all, you should know that property owners are prohibited from renting out an entire apartment to guests staying in it for less than 30 days. It is assumed that they can rent an apartment only to those who occupy it for the duration of the owner’s presence in it. At the same time, only one or two guests can live in the apartment, no more.
Entire apartments are off-limits unless they state “the owner lives here and you have access and you share,” says Rina Rani, a partner at Singh & Rani, LLP, a Manhattan law firm that has represented hundreds of clients in short-term lease cases. The exception is building, classified as hotels, and other short-term accommodation, including furnished apartments, rented out by companies such as Special.
Renting out housing for a period of 30 days or more is not against the law and is not subject to law 18. The new law obliges property owners to register with the City Office for the Execution of Special Orders (OSE) before renting out rooms or entire apartments on platforms like Airbnb or VRBO extension, for less than 30 days.
From September 5, such announcements must contain the OSE registration number. However, it will take some time for the new system to be fully implemented, as well as for property owners to apply for and receive these numbers from OSE. By the end of July, OSE had approved only 141 registration applications out of tens of thousands of short-term rental properties in the city, according to preliminary data.
Can I be fined for living in an illegal short-term rental?
No, they will not be punished for this, according to the Office for Special Control. According to Christian Klossner, chief executive of OSE, the targets will be property owners and the listing sites themselves.
“We have never issued tickets to guests,” Klossner told THE CITY. “In general, we view guests as deceived consumers.” According to Klossner, his agency had to evict residents from the apartment only in rare cases when, as a result of an inspection, it turned out that the housing was unsafe.
Tenants also don’t have to worry about fines or penalties for illegal activities related to local law 18 that can happen in their home, Rani’s lawyer said. “Responsibility for the written violations is not the tenant, but the landlord,” she said. However, tenants who rent an apartment without the permission of the landlord may violate the terms of the contract and be evicted.
If you would like to report an apartment that you believe is being rented incorrectly or illegally, please do so through the city’s complaints system. 311. According to Vijay Dandapani, president of the New York Hotel Association, “The new law is more of a building owner’s concern than a traveler’s.”
Are there any advantages to living with relatives or friends?
Local Law 18 does not prevent visitors from staying with relatives or friends at their New York City homes. The law regulates only short-term rentals – housing rented for a fee for a period of less than 30 days. If you stay with friends for free, the law does not apply.
Wouldn’t it be better to stay in a traditional hotel?
It depends what you want. Hotels tend to be located in the most densely populated and lively areas of the city, such as Manhattan, downtown Brooklyn and West Queens. They tend to be more expensive than the average apartment rental, but have the perks of XNUMX/XNUMX security, daily housekeeping and concierge services.
Short-term apartment rentals also give you a bit more space, according to the Hotel Association’s Dandapani, as they are on average larger than hotel rooms. However, he says there are “a number of issues” with Airbnb-like properties.
“You get the key sometimes just from the box, and without contact with the person. And if something goes wrong, who do you turn to? Who to call?
You might think that hotels in New York can be easily found after the pandemic devastated the city’s hotel sector, but in 2023, that is no longer the case. Many hotels have closed, and those that have opened have thousands of rooms used as housing for migrants.
According to tracker Thecity’s economic recovery, as of June, demand for hotel rooms was about 89% of what it was before the pandemic.
Are hostels a good alternative in New York?
Unlike many other cities in the world, New York does not have a large network of hostels. In fact, the city banned the creation of new hostels in 2010, and there are only a few left, including a large residence. Hostelling International on the Upper West Side.
Two members of the city council co-sponsored a new bill to legalize hostels in 2019, but the case has not moved forward.
What should I pay attention to when booking?
According to experts, attention should be paid to:
- Separate locks on separate rooms in the apartment, separate names or numbering of rooms, separate access codes. This is usually indicative of illegal short-term rentals.
- If the owner does not meet you or says: “This is my building, I’m just in a different room.” This is a sign that the property does not belong to the owner, which means it is illegal.
- If the owner warns you not to talk to your neighbors, to lie, or tells you how to talk to inspectors.
- If the accommodation you rent is in a basement with no windows. This means that the premises most likely do not comply with the regulations, and therefore not legal.
- If the host sent you an address different from the one on the booking confirmation. This may be an indication that he is trying to hide an illegal ad from law enforcement or an ad site.