New York and Airbnb in war over Hotel Business

Airbnb in war with New York

New York and Airbnb are battling it out in the courts over rental issues. So, what laws have Airbnb broken?

About Airbnb

Airbnb is a startup rental company that allows you to list your apartment or house as a rental. If you are away during the weekend or you have some idle room, you could use Airbnb to get a temporary tenant and make extra cash.

Airbnb has grown in leaps and bounds and is currently in 33,000 cities in the United States. The company is valued at $10 billion.

Airbnb promoting illegal hotels in NYC

New York thinks Airbnb is providing platform for illegal hotel business

However, as far as New York City is concerned, most of Airbnb’s business activities are illegal, and it is determined to get hold of records of its hosts.

The city’s Attorney General wrote to Airbnb requesting for records of 15,000 of its hosts to ascertain whether they broke any laws when renting their apartments in what it termed as “illegal hotels.” However, Airbnb decided to resist, perhaps in a bid to save its business.

An article in points out that according to the real estate law, New York prohibits renters or owners from renting spaces or apartments for less than 30 days unless the owner is also present at the house or apartment. So, if you rented your apartment for the weekend, then that could be illegal.

Apart from the illegal rentals, New York also has problems with Airbnb hosts who evade taxes.  But it is worth noting that Airbnb is not being accused of evading taxes; its customers are.

So why is Airbnb resisting if it is not the one directly being targeted?

Perhaps the only reason why Airbnb doesn’t want to relinquish those customer records is because it doesn’t want to lose business or lose customer trust. So, it remains to be seen what the judges will have to say.

Carl Richards

You're moving to the big city, but are you ready? Navigate the real estate market my tips and features.


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