Airbnb could lose thousands of NYC listings under new measure

A new regulation that will go into effect this month in New York City could wipe out nearly 10,000 Airbnb rental listings.   

The new measure forces Airbnb hosts to register their short-term rentals with Mayor Eric Adams’ Office of Special Enforcement, the city’s database, including proof that the hosts reside at the rental location and are complying with local zoning and safety rules. Failure to comply can result in between $1,000 and $5,000 in fines. Additionally, Airbnb will be barred from processing payments for hosts who fail to register.  

The rule will go into effect from Jan. 9.  

According to independent watchdog Inside Airbnb, there are roughly 40,000 Airbnb listings in the city. The law will potentially shut down 25% of the listings.  

Airbnb is looking to challenge the law. Last week, the San Francisco-based company reportedly sent out an email to some of its users which contained a form where people can directly complain to New York city officials about the new rule.  

We’re reaching out because the City is set to enact a law that would drastically affect the ability of New York Hosts to continue sharing their homes,” the email said. “As a result, short-term rental accommodations for travelers like you will be dramatically reduced to hotels and a shared room with no locks. This will restrict travel options outside popular tourism areas and hurt small businesses throughout the city.” 

Currently, only New Yorkers can legally rent out a section of their homes for short-term use, not the entire dwelling. As per existing laws, hosts can only rent out parts of their apartments on a short-term basis, defined as less than 30 days, making it illegal for a homeowner to temporarily sublet their home while on vacation.  

New York City is the latest to crack down on short-term rentals. Some city governments, like in San Diego and Atlanta, have sought to regulate the amount of short-term rental properties investors can purchase. Atlanta requires short-term rental landlords to register with the city, while San Diego has capped short-term rental properties at 1% of local housing to curb the rising number of properties being converted into short-term rentals. Local governments, like in Honolulu, have banned rental stays under 90 days, while others, like in Aspen, Colorado, have proposed new taxes on owners.