May 17, 2016
Legislation that would strike a blow to the advertising of illegal hotels on Airbnb’s website as well as TV, radio and print is heading to a vote today in the Assembly’s Housing Committee.
The measure backed by Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal is one of the first in the nation to limit the listing of such rentals through the popular online booker.
“Since Airbnb refuses to notify New Yorkers of their responsibilities under the law, it is crucial that we do so,” Rosenthal said in a statement. “This bill will protect tenants against preventable eviction and will help them to stay in their homes.”
Airbnb opponents have mobilized out of concerns the company’s business model negatively contributes to a decline in affordable housing in New York City, an acute problem in an increasingly unaffordable city for low-income people.
At the same time, Airbnb has a potent adversary in the Hotel Trades Council, a small but politically key labor union. The Rosenthal bill being considered today also has the backing of the powerful Real Estate of Board of New York.
In addition to limits on advertising, the bill requires landlords provide notice to tenants that short-term rentals could lead to eviction and fines.
Supporters also argue the move to make such listings illegal gives law enforcement another tool in guarding against more illegal hotel operators commit to online platforms. They insist the legislation is aimed at large-scale commercial operators of such entities.