In a significant development for travelers and the short-term rental industry, Airbnb has announced that it is halting certain reservations in New York City due to the enforcement of new regulations on Tuesday. These regulations are poised to bring substantial changes to the way travelers seek accommodation options in the city that never sleeps.
The primary aim of these new rules is to put an end to the unregulated short-term rental market in New York City. Previously, landlords and residents freely rented out their apartments for brief stays, catering to tourists and short-term visitors. However, with the implementation of these regulations, the landscape is evolving.
Under the updated system, any rental period shorter than 30 days is permissible only if hosts register with the city. Moreover, hosts are now required to be physically present in the rented home throughout the duration of the guest’s stay, sharing the living space with them. Additionally, the restrictions limit the number of guests to two, effectively barring families from certain rentals.
Notably, popular platforms like Airbnb, VRBO, and others are no longer permitted to facilitate rentals for unregistered hosts. As of this week, only a fraction of the applications received by the city—just under 300 out of more than 3,800—have been approved.
This move has been advocated for by officials and housing activists who argue that it’s necessary to prevent residential apartments from transforming into makeshift hotels. Murray Cox of Inside Airbnb, a housing advocacy group, emphasized that “residential apartments should be for residential use” in New York City.
Airbnb has previously contested these regulations in court, claiming they amount to a de facto ban and will adversely affect visitors searching for affordable lodging options. However, since August 21, Airbnb has ceased to accept new short-term reservations from hosts who haven’t provided a city registration number or proof of ongoing registration. Airbnb has indicated that, once the city’s verification system is fully operational, no short-term listings will be permitted on its platform without a registration number.
Local Law 18, effective as of Tuesday, is undeniably stringent and has a far-reaching impact on Airbnb and its users. It mandates that all short-term rental hosts in New York must register with the city and reside in the property they are renting while guests are present. Moreover, the rules limit the number of guests to two.
These changes signify the end of an era for certain types of rentals in New York City. The days of stylish downtown apartments for bachelorette parties, cozy family apartments near museums, and weekend rentals by absent hosts are fading. While Airbnb, VRBO, and similar platforms can continue to operate in the city, the newly implemented regulations have effectively transformed Airbnb’s business landscape, making it a challenging environment for both hosts and guests alike.
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