New restrictions for Airbnb and Vrbo hosts in NYC

The New York City Mayor's Office of Special Enforcement has begun enforcing the local regulation on short-term rentals known as Local Law 18, or the Short-Term Rental Registration Law. This law requires anyone offering short-term rentals to register with the Mayor's Office and prohibits hosts from renting out an entire registered dwelling unit for less than 30 days. It also mandates that hosts provide renters with access to all parts of the dwelling unit. Additionally, booking platforms are prohibited from processing transactions for unregistered short-term rentals.

The Office of Special Enforcement's Executive Director, Christian Klossner, stated that the initial phase of enforcement will focus on collaborating with booking platforms to ensure they are using the city's verification system and have stopped processing unverified transactions. The office will also respond to complaints of illegal occupancy.

Airbnb, a major player in the short-term rental market, expressed disappointment with the new regulations. Airbnb's Global Policy Director, Theo Yedinsky, argued that the rules would harm the city's tourism economy and limit accommodation options for visitors.

New York City is a popular tourist destination, receiving tens of millions of visitors each year. However, the city believes that registration under Local Law 18 will protect travelers from illegal and unsafe accommodations while curbing the proliferation of illegal short-term rentals.

Since May, over 3,800 short-term rental registration applications have been submitted, with the Office of Special Enforcement approving 290, denying 90, and requesting additional information or corrections for 516. Violations of the law can result in penalties of up to $5,000 for hosts and $1,500 for platforms.

Following the announcement of the enforcement of Local Law 18, shares of Airbnb increased by over 7%, while Vrbo owner Expedia Group saw a slight lift of nearly 0.6%.

The full impact of the new regulations on the short-term rental market and tourism in New York City remains to be seen, but it is clear that the city is taking steps to regulate and monitor this industry.


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