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New York Senate Passes Bill That Bans Short-Term Apartment Listings On Airbnb (theverge.com) 211

An anonymous reader writes: The New York Senate passed a bill on Friday that makes it illegal to advertise entire unoccupied apartments for short-term rentals on Airbnb. The bill is headed to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's desk for him to either veto or sign into law. The Verge reports: "The bill prohibits online apartment listings that last under 30 days and run up against the city's multiple dwelling law, which is designed to stop apartment buyers from renting out the entire space and basically turning their units into Airbnb hotels. First-time offenders would be fined $1,000, but a third infraction would be much costlier at $7,500. 'Let's be clear: this is a bad proposal that will make it harder for thousands of New Yorkers to pay the bills,' an Airbnb spokesperson told Tech Crunch. 'Dozens of governments around the world have demonstrated that there is a sensible way to regulate home sharing and we hope New York will follow their lead and protect the middle class.'" One of the bill's sponsors, State Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, disagrees and claims that it targets "people or companies with multiple listings. There are so many units held by commercial operators, not individual tenants. They are bad actors who horde multiple units, driving up the cost of housing around them and across the city." She went on to say, "You should know who your neighbor is and what happens when people rent out their apartments on Airbnb is you get strangers," said told the New York Post. "Every night there could be a different person sleeping in the next apartment and it shatters that sense of community in the building. It also can be dangerous."
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New York Senate Passes Bill That Bans Short-Term Apartment Listings On Airbnb

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  • Stranger Danger! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by TechyImmigrant ( 175943 ) on Monday June 20, 2016 @08:55PM (#52356555) Homepage Journal

    Be fearful! There might be strangers sleeping somewhere in a property near you.

    I bet the hotels are lobbying for this. Airbnb is one thing that is pushing the cost of visiting New York down.

    • Re:Stranger Danger! (Score:4, Informative)

      by the_povinator ( 936048 ) on Monday June 20, 2016 @09:00PM (#52356579) Homepage
      I wonder how much money Linda Rosenthal has taken from the hotel industry? Her donors (well, the legal ones) may be found here http://www.followthemoney.org/... [followthemoney.org] but with some of them it's not clear who they represent.
    • Re:Stranger Danger! (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 20, 2016 @09:22PM (#52356661)

      That's not true.

      AirBnB drives the cost of all rentals in all cities. AirBnB was designed to rent out coach houses/basements of the same property which is your primary residence. That is also still allowed under this.

      What this law is designed to do (and needs to be done in Vancouver BC, Seattle WA, Portland Oregon, and San Francisco California) is stop people from hoarding property from the people who live in the city and need that property. There are people who own a dozen properties and list them on AirBnB or just keep them empty and use it as a store of value. "Investors" are locking up the housing supply to drive up the property prices.

      AirBnB has it's purpose, and if you look on a map of a city like NYC, SFO or YVR you'll see the AirBnB units outnumber the actual rental units available to people who live there.

      It's only arm of solving the housing affordability problem. Developers should be designing condo buildings with a few floors of 3-bedroom units that can be partitioned into a 1-bedroom main unit and a 2-bedroom "BnB" (No kitchen in the BnB side) with it's own entrance. Anything smaller is not a BnB qualifier.

      • Re:Stranger Danger! (Score:5, Interesting)

        by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Monday June 20, 2016 @09:54PM (#52356793)

        What this law is designed to do (and needs to be done in Vancouver BC, Seattle WA, Portland Oregon, and San Francisco California) is stop people from hoarding property from the people who live in the city and need that property.

        The obvious solution to a shortage of housing is to BUILD MORE HOUSING. Last year, SF rejected 95% of all building permit requests, and most people don't even bother to submit a request. Despite soaring demand, the number of new housing units is near zero. So the result is high prices. Duh. NYC and other cities are not much better. The problem is driven by NIMBY and BANANA voters. It is absurd to blame this on Airbnb.

        • Re:Stranger Danger! (Score:4, Informative)

          by alvinrod ( 889928 ) on Monday June 20, 2016 @10:09PM (#52356853)
          When you implement rent controls, there's very little incentive to build more housing. It's the type of policy that most economists agree is a bad idea [nytimes.com] and it's little surprise that it distorts the market and causes all manner of ill adverse side effects.

          You honestly can't expect anyone sane to build new housing when laws mandate that it be a poor investment. At that point you end up with the only solution being government funded public housing projects, but those have a lot of stigma attached to them.
          • by hawguy ( 1600213 )

            When you implement rent controls, there's very little incentive to build more housing. It's the type of policy that most economists agree is a bad idea [nytimes.com] and it's little surprise that it distorts the market and causes all manner of ill adverse side effects.

            You honestly can't expect anyone sane to build new housing when laws mandate that it be a poor investment. At that point you end up with the only solution being government funded public housing projects, but those have a lot of stigma attached to them.

            SF's Rent control only applies to buildings built after 1979 - 37 years ago.

            • When you implement rent controls, there's very little incentive to build more housing. It's the type of policy that most economists agree is a bad idea [nytimes.com] and it's little surprise that it distorts the market and causes all manner of ill adverse side effects.

              You honestly can't expect anyone sane to build new housing when laws mandate that it be a poor investment. At that point you end up with the only solution being government funded public housing projects, but those have a lot of stigma attached to them.

              SF's Rent control only applies to buildings built after 1979 - 37 years ago.

              Which emphasizes the point that rent control is detrimental to building more housing space.

              • by hawguy ( 1600213 )

                When you implement rent controls, there's very little incentive to build more housing. It's the type of policy that most economists agree is a bad idea [nytimes.com] and it's little surprise that it distorts the market and causes all manner of ill adverse side effects.

                You honestly can't expect anyone sane to build new housing when laws mandate that it be a poor investment. At that point you end up with the only solution being government funded public housing projects, but those have a lot of stigma attached to them.

                SF's Rent control only applies to buildings built after 1979 - 37 years ago.

                Which emphasizes the point that rent control is detrimental to building more housing space.

                Whoops sorry, had that backwards -- I meant it applies only to building built *before* 1979 -- any building built in the past 37 years is not subject to rent control.

                • Re:Stranger Danger! (Score:5, Informative)

                  by onepoint ( 301486 ) on Tuesday June 21, 2016 @10:12AM (#52358861) Homepage Journal

                  As a realtor, I will comment on the following situation from multiple perspectives :

                  San Francisco; multiple issues, biggest issue ( which is common ) is the self-interest of homeowners who's values have increased 200% to 400% in the last 7 years, and or rental incomes have doubled or tripled in the same timeframe, don't want any new supply to hit the market. Because it stalls the income increases ( source : https://www.rentjungle.com/ave... [rentjungle.com] ) look at the stalling 2 bedroom rental market.
                  Now rent control in that market ( SF ) provides lifestyle and culture living, so you might still enjoy the look and feel, but what happens when a property is removed from that market, poof, those parties are forced to move to real cost. and that's painful for them.

                  New York: Rent control has worked rather well to help a large percentage of people stay within the commute of the "city", what Airbnb has done is created a very small problem which is a huge concern for the landlord. Rent control apartments can not be subleased in any which way or form, if the tenant chooses to sub-lease and get's caught, is a slap on the wrist, the landlord get's a huge heavy fines ( this one is fine related to a regular rental cite : http://therealdeal.com/2016/01... [therealdeal.com] )

                  Miami Florida : Well this is my market, let me explain a few interesting things. Condo's here have very interesting rules about renting. Some won't let you rent, some have policies about minimum stay ( 1 year, 6 months, 30 days, 7 days, 1 day ). it's all written within your condo documentation which you sign off that you have read. All leases that are realtor made, show, no sub-leasing unless authorized by the owner. Rent control almost does not exist near the beach, we have senior housing ( IE: over 55 places ) that are discounted to the market, so the character of community sticks. The problems we have with Airbnb are the rule breakers, You pay for a lifestyle type building ( 1 year, 6 months, 30 days, 7 days, 1 day ) you expect it IE: transient buildings are noisy but fun, 6 month or longer are quiet. I live 19-minute walk to the beach and it's quiet, Airbnb ended up with a few listing here and it became " who the fuck are you in my assigned parking spot " with people yelling and screaming. couple of emails to the staff of Airbnb stopped all our problems, they were helpful, and we have a few angry owners LOL

              • by Dahamma ( 304068 )

                Nope. Totally the opposite, the OP has it reversed. So if that's your argument you haven't been following the issue so pay more attention before posting maybe?

            • When you implement rent controls, there's very little incentive to build more housing. It's the type of policy that most economists agree is a bad idea [nytimes.com] and it's little surprise that it distorts the market and causes all manner of ill adverse side effects.

              You honestly can't expect anyone sane to build new housing when laws mandate that it be a poor investment. At that point you end up with the only solution being government funded public housing projects, but those have a lot of stigma attached to them.

              SF's Rent control only applies to buildings built after 1979 - 37 years ago.

              I'm pretty sure that if i build a building in SF now that it will have been built AFTER 1979 and will, therefore, be subject to rent control.

              • When you implement rent controls, there's very little incentive to build more housing. It's the type of policy that most economists agree is a bad idea [nytimes.com] and it's little surprise that it distorts the market and causes all manner of ill adverse side effects.

                You honestly can't expect anyone sane to build new housing when laws mandate that it be a poor investment. At that point you end up with the only solution being government funded public housing projects, but those have a lot of stigma attached to them.

                SF's Rent control only applies to buildings built after 1979 - 37 years ago.

                I'm pretty sure that if i build a building in SF now that it will have been built AFTER 1979 and will, therefore, be subject to rent control.

                Ah I see that you later stated you had the dates backward. Ignore my snark, then, please.

          • http://www.econlib.org/library... [econlib.org]

            Economists are virtually unanimous in concluding that rent controls are destructive. In a 1990 poll of 464 economists published in the May 1992 issue of the American Economic Review, 93 percent of U.S. respondents agreed, either completely or with provisos, that “a ceiling on rents reduces the quantity and quality of housing available.”1

            Similarly, another study reported that more than 95 percent of the Canadian economists polled agreed with the statement.2 The ag

          • You honestly can't expect anyone sane to build new housing when laws mandate that it be a poor investment

            Here in Vancouver, British Columbia, there are no rent controls. Yet the city only permits a fraction of the housing required to be built.

            Why?

            NIMBYs of course, who object to increased density, while at the same time complaining that their kids have nowhere to live.

        • by nbauman ( 624611 )

          The obvious solution to a shortage of housing is to BUILD MORE HOUSING.

          Yes, but it doesn't have to be private housing.

          New York City has a long history of public housing. That's how we housed workers during WWII. It worked well in New York City, and it works well around the world.

          Like anything else, there are some well-run public housing projects and some poorly-run public housing, but there's a lot of good public housing which has long waiting lists of tenants who want to get in. Many housing projects limit their rent to 30% of the tenant's income, which is a common definition

          • Luxury housing is the only thing new construction is interested in, precisely because they can charge a lot because LUXURY. Normal schmoe housing, forget it. Hundreds of thousands for environmental studies, fight fight fight, and as a reward, rent control.

            • Luxury housing is always the first to be built in a highly constrained, under-built market like New York City. If you need to strongarm the city to get any development done whatsoever then you're going to focus only on the highest-value projects.

              It upsets peoples' sense of egalitarianism, but it's still better for the overall housing situation than nothing. Of course, building enough housing on all levels of the market makes too much sense and will continue to be disallowed.

            • by b0bby ( 201198 )

              Luxury housing is the only thing new construction is interested in, precisely because they can charge a lot because LUXURY.

              This is only true in certain markets like NYC & SF, where the housing supply is so tightly constrained that prices are high and only the wealthy can afford to buy. I guarantee you that there are lots of areas where affordable housing is being built. The problem is that many people want to live in NYC and SF, and they are not willing/able to build more housing on the scale of that demand.

      • Well the problem with housing affordability is that property in new york is in demand because it is desirable. All we have to do is make properties less desirable and the demand and consequently prices should come down. Like if there was a nuclear disaster or if the city became infested with deadly snakes or something, that would really help to keep housing affordable.
        • High taxes on property not your primary residence.

          Now that would have a fun effect on the political landscape of NYC

        • Well the problem with housing affordability is that property in new york is in demand because it is desirable.

          And when you coupled the increased demand to artificially-made short supply, well, we see the results in NY and San Francisco.

      • Re:Stranger Danger! (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Ichijo ( 607641 ) on Monday June 20, 2016 @11:35PM (#52357089) Journal

        What this law is designed to do...is stop people from hoarding property... There are people who own a dozen properties and list them on AirBnB or just keep them empty and use it as a store of value.

        This is one reason why we need a land value tax [wikipedia.org].

        • by Dahamma ( 304068 )

          Problem with that is for the regions of the country where the land is most of the value, it basically prices out the people who have lived in a "hot" market (ie. you should NOT be forced to move just because your neighbors pay idiotic prices for their houses).

          So, what's really needed are laws that impose extra taxes or restrictions on people who own land but are using it primarily as rental properties, so they pay their fair share. There are many ways to do that (don't give tax breaks, tax the rent at high

          • Capitalism's goal is free people satisfying the needs and desires of their fellow citizens.

            There is nothing more fair than lots of housing such that the cost drops. Supply and demand. Something has chained the supply down so it can barely increase. As people move in, there are plenty of greedy developers who would build to satisfy...if they could.

            • by Dahamma ( 304068 )

              Something has chained the supply down so it can barely increase.

              True, but in some cases that's just the fact that it's just at reasonable capacity! In SF, sure, they could build higher, in Manhattan, kind of hitting some limits - the point being SF doesn't want to hit those limits (and maybe living in a 50+ story apartment in an earthquake zone, you don't either...)

              As people move in, there are plenty of greedy developers who would build to satisfy...if they could.

              Yes, but is that REALLY the best idea in SF?

              https://www.theguardian.com/wo... [theguardian.com]

      • hoarding property from the people who live in the city and need that property ... "Investors" are locking up the housing supply to drive up the property prices.

        The ignorance of economics and the effects of big city housing regulations is strong with this one...

        Even a totally partisan left-wing economist like Krugman [reason.com] understands that it's regulations like this one [nytimes.com] which keep housing unaffordable.

        Let me lay it out for you... If you make it more expensive to build housing of various types, and if you make hous

        • by nbauman ( 624611 )

          If you make it more expensive to build housing of various types, and if you make housing worth less by adding lots of restrictions on what you can do with it, and if you restrict people's ability to make money with the housing they build, it turns out that over time, people build much less housing, because they don't see the point in going through all that hassle for less reward than they can get elsewhere with their money.

          The purpose of housing is not to make money for developers. The purpose of housing is to provide a place for people to live. In New York City, the city, state and federal government at various times have built or financed public housing projects, most of which have been very successful and have long waiting lists. The housing costs the government agencies much less than private housing would have cost. When you look at the actual numbers, public housing is quite efficient and provides good housing for less

          • most of which have been very successful and have long waiting lists.

            Wouldn't 'long waiting lists' mean that they're actually unsuccessful, in that they're not meeting demand? Not to mention that "the projects" have a long history of extreme violent crime rates and other criminal activities?

            When you look at the actual numbers, public housing is quite efficient and provides good housing for less cost than developers do in the free market.

            You mean, quite efficient at continuing the chain of poverty, because an employer sees an address in the project and looks elsewhere? Sad, but true.

            Look, I'm not going to say that public housing is all bad, or that it can't be the most fiscally sound decision. What I am going to say is

          • by b0bby ( 201198 )

            In New York City, the city, state and federal government at various times have built or financed public housing projects, most of which have been very successful and have long waiting lists.

            So, there are a lot of people who would like to live in New York, if it wasn't so expensive. But it is, because a lot of people want to live there. So if you subsidize a segment of housing, of course you're going to get a waiting list. The question is, is it better to let the market set the price, so that only people who really want to live there will pay the price, or is it better to have a semi random mix of people who might not otherwise live there? If I could get an apartment if NYC for free, I'd take i

          • The *Republicans* in SF are to blame? Now that's a new one. No, SF has mostly itself to blame, between city government allowing people to block construction near them and requiring lots of environmental impact studies, rejecting most new building proposals...

            I wouldn't call many of the public housing projects in NYC "good housing". They're cheap housing, and sometimes that's enough, to be sure.
      • That's not true.

        AirBnB drives the cost of all rentals in all cities.

        No, it doesn't, for all the cities. The cost of rental is going off the balls in NYC and San Francisco for one reason only: rent control. Everything else that we see is a function of that. Nixing AirBnB does shit to fix affordable housing shortages. But real solutions to that shit are hard, so AirBnB is the perfect scapegoat.

      • by Pfhorrest ( 545131 ) on Monday June 20, 2016 @11:54PM (#52357159) Homepage Journal

        I gave you a +1, but I have to undo it because commenting is more important.

        Everything you say is true, and beyond that, the rental market in the first place does this same thing to the general housing market as well.

        Investors buy rental properties to generate a passive income (i.e. get money in exchange for nothing), by exploiting an advantaged capital position (i.e. just by having more money to begin with).

        That ability to benefit financially from housing you don't need for, you know, actually housing yourself, attracts people with money to spare into buying up more investment housing, increasing the demand and thus market price for housing.

        That makes it more difficult for people who need housing to actually live in to buy, forcing them into the only other option left, renting, putting them on the receiving end of their landlords' passive income (i.e. they're the ones paying that money in exchange for nothing).

        The real estate investors can then reinvest their rental income into buying more housing to rent out, and the renters, throwing all their money down a rent-hole, are inhibited from ever saving enough to buy their way out of that situation.

        In this way, those who already have more profit off those who already have less in an ever accelerating vicious cycle; the rich get richer, the poor get poorer, and while for those around the middle (i.e. those who've got around about just what they need for their own use, and neither can profit from their excess nor have to pay for their deficit) it seems like it would be simple to change from one end to the other with some good old fashioned hard work, in reality there is an invisible pressure away from that center, and for those starting far below it, it's an extraordinary effort to even approach that middle point in their entire lifetimes; and getting to far above it comparatively easy, for someone starting out around the middle already. Because being poor costs you money, and being rich makes you money, and rent is the engine that drives that process.

        This whole process is much more visible in places where supply is unable to easily scale up with demand, and where demand is already high; people living in Bumfuck Nowhere where no one wants to live, surrounded by unending undeveloped flat lands to the horizon, might not see this problem as more than noise in their market data, but in places where the market is already crunched this process comes to life and makes it infinitely worse than it already would have been.

        In the absence of a rental market, anyone who had more housing than they needed for their own use would have only one option to benefit from it: sell it. But nobody's going to be buying it as an investment property anymore if there's no rental market to profit from, so the only people buying would be those who need it for their own use. Which means if you want to sell it, you have to sell it at a price (and on terms) that people who need it can actually afford; that's how a free market works. Your only alternative is to not sell it and get nothing and have wasted everything you spend buying it. So in the absence of a rental market, the purchase price for housing would have to come down; conversely, the presence of a rental market artificially inflates the purchase price of housing.

        And this critique doesn't just apply to housing rental, but to any kind of rental, including the rent on money otherwise known as interest; though, again, the supply and demand curves in a given market will make it more or less visible a problem -- nobody's going to complain about the evils of the DVD rental market (if such a thing still existed). But it's the places that really matter, like housing and other big-ticket items, where the problem really manifests, and those are... well, the places where it really matters.

        Rent (including interest) is the problem with capitalism; which, n.b., is not a synonym for a free market. Free markets do not intrinsically lead to runaway concentrati

        • by b0bby ( 201198 )

          Investors buy rental properties to generate a passive income (i.e. get money in exchange for nothing), by exploiting an advantaged capital position (i.e. just by having more money to begin with).

          Have you ever been a landlord? I have, and I guarantee that it was not a passive income. I had to arrange the financing in the first place, arrange for initial repairs and ongoing maintenance, find and coordinate with renters etc. And in my case, my renters actually were earning more than I did, they just weren't ready to buy yet. For them they got a nice place with no long term worries or commitments, at a fair price. And most importantly, they had a place to live.

          That ability to benefit financially from housing you don't need for, you know, actually housing yourself, attracts people with money to spare into buying up more investment housing, increasing the demand and thus market price for housing.

          Aside from the fact that a lot of people d

      • That's not true.

        AirBnB drives the cost of all rentals in all cities. AirBnB was designed to rent out coach houses/basements of the same property which is your primary residence. That is also still allowed under this.

        What this law is designed to do (and needs to be done in Vancouver BC, Seattle WA, Portland Oregon, and San Francisco California) is stop people from hoarding property from the people who live in the city and need that property. There are people who own a dozen properties and list them on AirBnB or just keep them empty and use it as a store of value. "Investors" are locking up the housing supply to drive up the property prices.

        AirBnB has it's purpose, and if you look on a map of a city like NYC, SFO or YVR you'll see the AirBnB units outnumber the actual rental units available to people who live there.

        It's only arm of solving the housing affordability problem. Developers should be designing condo buildings with a few floors of 3-bedroom units that can be partitioned into a 1-bedroom main unit and a 2-bedroom "BnB" (No kitchen in the BnB side) with it's own entrance. Anything smaller is not a BnB qualifier.

        If big cities didn't make it difficult to build new buildings, both before and after construction, you'd have fewer problems for people finding reasonable accomodations. But continue to double down on central control micromanagement. I am sure someone will get it right one of these centuries.

      • "you'll see the AirBnB units outnumber the actual rental units available to people who live there."

        You may be double counting units. I renter can list his apartment on AirBnB and still live there.

        Of course there are people who push the boundaries. The solution is to deal with those boundaries.
      • What this law is designed to do (and needs to be done in Vancouver BC, Seattle WA, Portland Oregon, and San Francisco California) is stop people from hoarding property from the people who live in the city and need that property.

        Why?

        Why must we have laws to control what people do with their own property in cases like this? Why do you feel compelled to regulate Real Estate in this manner?

        Please explain, using non-emotionally based economic arguments. Housing affordability is irrelevant. People who can afford to live there, will. And those who can't won't. What is wrong with people living where they can afford to?

        I love how people, such as yourself, think it is VERY okay to control other's lives in such a manner, simply because you c

    • There might be strangers sleeping somewhere in a property near you.

      You don't need a law to prevent that. Individual HOAs or CC&Rs can allow or disallow short term rentals as they see fit.

      But the people pushing this law are using contradictory justifications. They say it is to prevent people running an entire building as an "Airbnb hotel", then they say it is to prevent neighboring apts from being rented out to evil dangerous tourists who travel halfway around the world to mug innocent apartment dwellers in hallways and stairwells.

      • by Shados ( 741919 )

        HOA rules don't have nearly as much bite though. The building I'm in used to have issues with someone AirBNBing to frat parties all the time. The association eventually stopped it, but it took years.

    • Re:Stranger Danger! (Score:5, Informative)

      by Gorobei ( 127755 ) on Monday June 20, 2016 @10:04PM (#52356837)

      Be fearful! There might be strangers sleeping somewhere in a property near you.

      I bet the hotels are lobbying for this. Airbnb is one thing that is pushing the cost of visiting New York down.

      We're fearful because we live in shared doorman apartment buildings. We usually keep our apartments unlocked 24 hrs (for our own convenience, and because we know and trust our neighbors, and because old buildings have quirks like single elevators that jam and so you hop through someone's front door to get to the back door elevator bank.)

      We'd like to keep that and not have to switch to living in a hotel-like environment.

      • Oh please, you don't live in NYC you're living in a Seinfeld episode.

      • Be fearful! There might be strangers sleeping somewhere in a property near you.

        I bet the hotels are lobbying for this. Airbnb is one thing that is pushing the cost of visiting New York down.

        We're fearful because we live in shared doorman apartment buildings. We usually keep our apartments unlocked 24 hrs

        And that's a very idiotic thing to do, regardless of the trust you have on your neighbors. This is specially true if you live in a big city. Convenient or not, you are just asking for a Darwin award. Wise the fuck up and learn to lock your doors before a tragedy hits you.

      • Be fearful! There might be strangers sleeping somewhere in a property near you.

        I bet the hotels are lobbying for this. Airbnb is one thing that is pushing the cost of visiting New York down.

        We're fearful because we live in shared doorman apartment buildings. We usually keep our apartments unlocked 24 hrs (for our own convenience, and because we know and trust our neighbors, and because old buildings have quirks like single elevators that jam and so you hop through someone's front door to get to the back door elevator bank.)

        We'd like to keep that and not have to switch to living in a hotel-like environment.

        Doesn't your building association have bylaws that you can use to stop AirBnB rentals in the building?

    • Be fearful! There might be strangers sleeping somewhere in a property near you.

      I bet the hotels are lobbying for this. Airbnb is one thing that is pushing the cost of visiting New York down.

      I'm a fan of the new "sharing economy" and even have signed up as a Uber driver, and have and AirBnB listing. But you can't realistically expect these things to remain unregulated. People have a right to a peaceful existence, and if the room on the other side of your bedroom wall is causing you continued grief you should have options available to restrict that.

    • by Dahamma ( 304068 )

      Of course the hotels are lobbying for this. Because it doesn't affect single unit owners renting over the occasional weekend (which is what Airbnb pretends is their model), it's about large scale owners renting all of their units as a full-time business - which is basically a small (possible distributed) hotel, which should be regulated as such...

    • While driving the rents up. An apartment is not a fucking bed and breakfast. Fuck off.
    • Yeah, I like the law--short-term renting of apartments as such drives up the spot value of housing and creates an opportunity for economic rent seeking behavior--but I hate the reasoning. Community? Who the fuck cares about community? You live in an apartment a) to listen in on your neighbors having sex; or b) to have girls come in without the whole neighborhood seeing whose door they're going to. If you wanted peace and quiet or a neon sign above your back door that says "Yes it's the fifth girl this

    • Having strangers sleeping near you isn't the problem. I'm guessing that folks that aren't sympathetic to this legislation don't live in urban apartments.

      My personal experience: the person upstairs starting using AirBNB aggressively. So, former peace and quiet went away:

      + Euros arriving at 2am, proceeding to open slam shut every cabinet, jump on beds, play loud music,

      + A freaky dude knocking on my door at 8pm, complaining that my TV was on, he wanted to go to bed,

      + High school kids having a massive party, l

  • Come on. You don't REALLY want to know your neighbors do you? Might as well move into a trailer in the woods, because you will never find cool neighbors.
    • by Shados ( 741919 ) on Monday June 20, 2016 @11:45PM (#52357131)

      When you're in a residential area with high owner occupancy, sooner or later you get to know most of your neighbors. Since people are likely to stay there a while (I think average house ownership is 7 years), you're gonna bump into them enough time that you'll get to know who's who.

      It makes a huge difference: if something annoyed you, you talk to them, you compromise, and you're good to go for years to come (not always easy, but easier than having to redo it every year or two)

  • by presidenteloco ( 659168 ) on Monday June 20, 2016 @09:00PM (#52356577)

    If the law only targets apartments, and leaves owners of detached houses free to do what they want, isn't this creating a two-tier system favouring the already rich?

    • If the law only targets apartments, and leaves owners of detached houses free to do what they want, isn't this creating a two-tier system favouring the already rich?

      You mean the same way that money discriminates the rich because the more you have, the more it weighs?
      In case you are serious, apartments have different rules because occupants are subject to different conditions (eg noise, smells etc have much more impact to others, because they are much closer, therefore need stricter regulations). Does that not seem obvious to you?

  • Freedom. What a quaint notion.

  • by OzPeter ( 195038 ) on Monday June 20, 2016 @09:07PM (#52356607)

    I've just arrived at an AirBnb apartment for a 2 week stay. When booking the place I was warned not to mention that I was in an AirBnb place as the locals aren't too happy with it. So I have been thinking about such apartments this week, and it seems to be that the hotels are missing out on an opportunity for renting out complete apartments. I generally rent a complete apartment and end up paying less that a hotel in the same area and being 2 or 3 notches of luxury above the hotel and don't have to worry about strangers wandering in every day to clean the place and poke around my belongings. Yeah I know about long stay hotels, but they are sad little things in comparison and don;t give me the same feel as staying in a furnished apartment for an extended stay,

    On the other hand I have read all the sorry stories about AirBnb rentals where people have run everything from prostitution rings to wild parties from them. So I can see the benefit of local regulation.

    • by hawguy ( 1600213 ) on Monday June 20, 2016 @11:09PM (#52357051)

      I've just arrived at an AirBnb apartment for a 2 week stay. When booking the place I was warned not to mention that I was in an AirBnb place as the locals aren't too happy with it. So I have been thinking about such apartments this week, and it seems to be that the hotels are missing out on an opportunity for renting out complete apartments.

      Isn't that pretty much what Extended Stay suites are? Studio, one, or two bedroom suites available for rent by the day, week, month or longer.

      don't have to worry about strangers wandering in every day to clean the place and poke around my belongings.

      When I've stayed for an extended stay suite hotel, they only offered full housekeeping once a week, and I'm sure you could tell them to skip that too if you really don't trust the housekeeping staff.

      • by AK Marc ( 707885 )
        Not really. I've stayed at more than one brand of "extended stay" for a single night. They want to target the longer stayers, but they don't enforce that desire with policy, so they are another name for "motel".
  • c'mon, man, this is New York City
  • In some towns, the issue is payment of local hotel taxes or the neighborhood impact of short-term renters coming and going. These considerations don't apply in a high-tax city with jammed traffic and all high-rise apartments where union rules already make building new apartments expensive. Just another example of protectionism for the already rich.

    We're talking about a place where if you drive to the airport and drop off your wife at the curb, the taxicab police arrest you for cutting into their business:
    ht [dnainfo.com]

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Renting an unoccupied appartment is not sharing.

  • Even smallish cities rely on a good bit of their development from this tax, which is often in excess of the normal sales tax rate. [littleviews.com]

    Like the Uber service, this is a way to circumvent legacy fees to the municipality.

    • Even smallish cities rely on a good bit of their development from this tax, which is often in excess of the normal sales tax rate. [littleviews.com]

      Like the Uber service, this is a way to circumvent legacy fees to the municipality.

      The hotel/motel tax in my town is used 100% for promoting tourism which brings in more people to use those hotels which airbnb benefits from too. The preferred solution to me would be maybe a revenue cap. If you make less than say $3000 per month then you're in the clear otherwise you need to register as a hotel. Another option would be a nightly stay cap like say 10 guests/month or 30 guests/month or even 100 guests/month. This would prevent businesses from using this loophole. The same could be said

  • by n3r0.m4dski11z ( 447312 ) on Monday June 20, 2016 @09:53PM (#52356791) Homepage Journal

    Vancouver (and the lower mainland in general), has a similar problem that i assume new york does. Air BNB depletes possible rental stock. I am not sure low the new york vacancy rate is, but mostly due to foreign capital in-fluxing into the real estate market here, our vacancy rate is 0.3% [straight.com] (probably less now, things are only getting worse).

    That said, I stay in airbnb pretty much every vacation i go on with my family as what you can get for the price blows hotels away (if there even are hotels in a destination). It's either that or camping, is really all one can really afford when you pay more than half of your salary into paying rent.

    It seems that people are somewhat confused and think its like a "big hotel lobby" or something driving this ban on aribnb. It very well may be that people are trying to protect their cities from ever higher rents. Especially in popular cities where it is impossible for an average family to own a property. The cities become just a resort in this case, instead of what they should be: A place where people can live within an hour or two commute of their workplace affordably.

    • by Mistlefoot ( 636417 ) on Monday June 20, 2016 @10:23PM (#52356893)
      There is more than that. Hotels also charge taxes (federal/provincial and local) on each room and about 3% of the 16% tax goes to support tourism. As rental properties aren't taxable, but rooms rentals are, this is a 16% advantage an Airbnb rental has. And pretty good chance most people who rent via Airbnb aren't paying income tax on that either.

      In Victoria BC, the city is trying to make all renters register and pay taxes the same as any hotel and there is outrage amongst renters. Many don't want to have to collect and remit the same taxes those they compete with must.....
      • Don't forget the zoning and safety requirements that hotels are forced to meet. There are going to be tonnes of additional costs associated with running a hotel.

        I suppose the argument would be that AirBnB solves that problem and disrupts the old, expensive market, but I can't help but feel at least some of those requirements are there to serve some purpose.

  • Wrong ban. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ScentCone ( 795499 ) on Monday June 20, 2016 @10:12PM (#52356867)
    The only thing that should be banned is the use of the word "sharing" when it comes to all of this sort of stuff. I'm paying you for a ride, or for a place to sleep. You're not "sharing" it with me! More hipster word-erosion.
  • Either regulating commercial use of the space for housing arrangement is meaningful and it should apply to hotels as well as to airbnb. Or that regulation is pointless and it should not apply to either.

    But saying "I am not a hotel, I am a which connect with customer using an app" is just BS.

    I have the same fundamental issues with uber and airbnb. I like the idea, it allows to reclaim untapped resources. But laws should apply similarly to both "regular" and "uberized" commercial activities.

    • by Shados ( 741919 )

      You can't take a residential space and make it a commercial one (unless zoning rules allow). And the majority of AirBNBed places are condos and apartments in buildings where the renter/owner signed documents saying they would not do this shit anyway.

      So yeah, it is the same rule for everyone. You don't take residential buildings and turn them into hotels, airbnb or not.

  • And offer proportional rebates if out early.

  • The real solution is to allow more housing units to be built. Homeowners would never vote for that though.

    • It's making sure housing is not removed from the market to be used as hotels. So yes it is part of the solution. But if you want to build an apartment complex in NYC, no one is stopping you.
  • by greggman ( 102198 ) on Tuesday June 21, 2016 @04:23AM (#52357769) Homepage

    The idea of AirBnB is a good one but AirBnB in particular is an unethical company that specifically allows hosts to falsely advertise and get away with it with impunity.

    I've stay at 20+ places and one in 5 has lied about their listings. From claiming it's 1 bedroom but actually being a studio. Claiming WiFi but actually stealing it from a neighbor. Claiming to provide parking but not. The latest is claiming to be 1 place but actually be several blocks away. In every case AirBnB did nothing. In the last case AirBnB even claimed it was policy that locations are false. So you try to rent something in a nice/safe/quiet area and it's actually an bad/dangerous/loud area and this is actually official AirBnB policy

    AirBnB really need to be taken down until they stop being blatantly unethical.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      And yet you still use them? Sounds like they're doing exactly what you want them to do.

    • by GuB-42 ( 2483988 )

      20+ times! You are not really contributing to the death of airbnb...
      What are the alternatives? How did you do before airbnb?

  • In Vancouver BC, there is already a low vacancy rate for apartment rentals. AirBnB rentals have skyrocketed here and have been a significant factor driving availability for people who live and work here significantly lower. People are either buying condos to rent on AirBnB or people are renting and illegally subletting to AirBnB 'customers' as they can profit over what they pay in rent. I know of several who do this, some in the same building. And yes, living in a place where many are transient is not de
  • A big part of this is no doubt NYC protecting tax revenue. Most cities like to tax visitors because they don't vote in the district.

    A NYC hotel stay has the following taxes -

    New York State Sales Tax = 4%
    New York City Sales Tax and Transportation District Surcharge = 4.875%
    Hotel Room Occupancy Tax = $2 + 5.875%


    A simpler solution would have been to pass a law requiring AirBnB to remit these taxes monthly for any booking made in New York City.

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