Stricter Short-Term Rental Laws Signal An End To Airbnb In NYC
Every year, New York City welcomes nearly 70 million visitors to its boroughs, making it one of the largest hubs for short-term rentals. However, a big change to laws allowing residents and real estate developers to profit from the city’s exponentially high cost of living may spell the end of one of the world’s largest rental companies, Airbnb.
Airbnb has come under scrutiny not only for its part in the gentrification of many historically Black cities but also for its effect on the real estate market. Potential homebuyers and local residents complain about the renting giant’s lasting impact on neighborhoods, and now one of the nation’s largest cities is fighting back. According to Wired, on Tuesday, Sept. 5, Local Law 18 went into effect, which mandates that all short-term rental hosts must register with the city of New York and must live in the residence they’re renting. The law also outlines that the registrant must stay in the rental while renters are present. In addition, the limit on guests has now been set to no more than two.
While some see it as a means to stop price gauging that leads to many no longer being able to afford neighborhoods they’ve spent most of their lives in, others feel that those who rent to make ends meet in the expensive city will be most affected by the change. Airbnb has attempted to push back on the strict guidelines but found little sympathy in court. The new laws “are a blow to its tourism economy and the thousands of New Yorkers and small businesses in the outer boroughs who rely on home sharing and tourism dollars to help make ends meet,” according to Theo Yedinsky, global policy director for Airbnb. “The city is sending a clear message to millions of potential visitors who will now have fewer accommodation options when they visit New York City: You are not welcome.”
Small-time hosts and local landlords managing the vacancies left over from an influx of real estate companies who’ve used Airbnb, VRBO, and other services to monopolize the industry will be left with even fewer choices to contend with inflation under the new guidelines. “They’ve used a very blunt object when they should have used a scalpel,” said Margenett Moore-Roberts, who rents out a two-bedroom apartment in her Brooklyn brownstone to help her cut costs while unemployed. “Putting us all in that same bucket of players is really unfair and not helpful.”