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Take Two: New York Planning Fresh Laws For Short-Term Rental Sites

Airbnb Vice President of Trips Joe Zadeh

The New York Senate is considering a new bill that would change the way short-term rental platforms are regulated. And this time Airbnb is backing the plan.

Two Democrats, Sen. James Skoufis and Assemblyman Joseph Lentol, are sponsoring the legislation, which was introduced this week, the AP reports. 

It prohibits short-term rentals in affordable or rent-stabilized apartments, and caps residents’ listings to just one property on home-sharing sites, according to the AP.

The platforms would also be required to keep a register of host names and collect occupancy taxes for the city and state.

“We live in 2019,” Skoufis said, according to the news agency. “It’s foolish for anyone to put up invisible walls.”

Airbnb is supportive of the plan, describing it in a release as creating “fair and restrictive rules to govern short-term home rentals in New York City” while still “ensuring local communities statewide can continue to enjoy the economic opportunities of home sharing.”

Not everyone is pleased with the decision, however.

“We stand against this bill and will fight tooth and nail to protect our communities from predatory companies like Airbnb,” said Jonathan Westin, the director of New York Communities for Change, an affordable housing advocacy group.

The bill follows years of tension between the state, city and Airbnb — as lawmakers around the globe have grappled with how to deal with the proliferation of online short-term rental sites.

Last year, the City Council passed a law that would require services like Airbnb and HomeAway to give the names and addresses of hosts to the city’s Office of Special Enforcement each month.

They also needed to tell the city if the listing is for just a room or an entire apartment. However, a federal judge blocked that law in January.

Related Topics: short-term rentals, Airbnb NYC