A bill has been signed into law by New York governor Andrew Cuomo which is going to make it very difficult for Airbnb to operate in the state. The law makes it illegal to list short-term rentals on Airbnb, rentals have to be for more than 30 days for not to be considered illegal under this new law. The state already doesn’t allow rentals of 30 days or less in a multi-unit building if the tenant isn’t present, the new law makes the act of even listing such an apartment illegal.
Those who are found in violation of this law will have to pay a fine of $1,000 for their first violation, $5,000 for their second, and $7,500 for the third.
As you can probably imagine, Airbnb is going to put up a fight. It will immediately file a lawsuit against the state attorney general and New York City. The lawsuit is going to claim that this new law violates the Communications Decency Act and the First Amendment.
“In typical fashion, Albany back-room dealing rewarded a special interest — the price-gouging hotel industry — and ignored the voices of tens of thousands of New Yorkers,” Josh Meltzer, head of New York Public Policy for Airbnb said in a statement provided to Business Insider.
As far as the state is concerned, since the activities that are being advertised are already deemed illegal, there shouldn’t be any problems with this new law. “This is an issue that was given careful, deliberate consideration, but ultimately these activities are already expressly prohibited by law,” said Richard Azzopardi, a spokesman for governor Cuomo, adding that “They also compromise efforts to maintain and promote affordable housing by allowing those units to be used as unregulated hotels, and deny communities significant revenue from uncollected taxes, the cost of which is ultimately borne by local taxpayers.”
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