New York State Senate passes anti-Airbnb bill

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The New York State Senate has passed a bill that would make it illegal to advertise short-term rentals (less than 30 days) for entire homes on Airbnb. Earlier today, the State Assembly passed the bill through to the State Senate. The next step in the process is for New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo to either sign or veto it.

The bill would make it illegal to post a short-term rental on Airbnb that violates NYC’s multiple dwelling law, which went into effect in 2010 in an attempt to target landlords who buy apartments and use them to operate illegal hotels. If the bill becomes law, anyone in New York who posts entire home listings on Airbnb for less than 30 days could be fined up to $1,000 for the first violation, and up to $7,500 for the third violation.

“It’s disappointing — but not surprising — to see politicians in Albany cut a last-minute deal with the hotel industry that will put 30,000 New Yorkers at greater risk of bankruptcy, eviction or foreclosure,” Airbnb Head of New York Public Policy Josh Meltzer said in a statement to TechCrunch. “Let’s be clear: this is a bad proposal that will make it harder for thousands of New Yorkers to pay the bills. 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.”

If this bill goes into law, up to 31,000 people in New York could be at risk of eviction or foreclosure, according to an Airbnb survey of its host community. This bill would also be bad news for Airbnb’s business in New York because over half of all Airbnb listings in New York are for rentals of entire homes or apartments, according to a 2015 data set from Airbnb.

That said, Airbnb seems to have a fair amount of support from the tech industry on this one, with everyone from prominent VC Fred Wilson to the Internet Association sticking out their necks on behalf of Airbnb.

If you live in New York and would like to weigh in, either in support or opposition of the bill, you can do so here.