New York City Joins Fight Against Airbnb

The city council of New York is planning to restrict the operations of Airbnb as a result of requests from the hotel industry to halt the growth of the largest home sharing network on the planet.

The initiative by New York City comes on the heels of efforts by other cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco to combat the company. San Francisco passed a law that requires Airbnb hosts to complete city registration of the properties available for rental. This has lead to a steep decline in homeowners participating in short-term rentals through Airbnb.

New York City officials are looking to require home-sharing companies to provide the city with information regarding short-term property renters that use their platform. This would cause problems to Airbnb users that are using rent-regulated apartments to turn a profit in a city that is in dire need of increased housing availability.

The city has taken measures to hinder the activities of Airbnb before including a law enacted two years ago restricting the advertisement of services offered by the company. The measures have proven to be mostly ineffective up to this point.

The hotel industry, along with hotel workers’ unions, has combined their efforts to begin a campaign against Airbnb and companies like it called Share Better. The movement has sought to highlight a report by Scott Stringer, New York City Comptroller, regarding an accusal of the company of negatively affecting the numbers of affordable housing units in the city.

Further opposition to Airbnb came in the form of the Hotel Trades Council in New York City, who after spending nearly $100,000 on last year’s election and backing the successful campaign of Council speaker Corey Johnson, have been very vocal in their disdain for short-term rental platforms.

New York City officials are also preparing to monitor the results of a potential bill being pushed in Los Angeles that would legally restrict the time to 120 days in a calendar year that properties could be made available for use as short-term rental properties. The ordinance will also make the requirement that the property be the primary residence of the host.

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