The Real Deal New York

NYC spending $2.8M to shut down illegal Airbnb rentals

Office tasked with investigating illegal Airbnb listings will more than double in staff

July 17, 2015 03:10PM

The Airbnb website and Manhattan Council member Helen Rosenthal

The Airbnb website and Manhattan Council member Helen Rosenthal

Abusing Airbnb in New York City is about to get a bit harder.

The city is doubling down on its efforts to regulate illegal home conversions, according to the New York Post. And for its crackdown, the Mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement — which is tasked with fighting illegal subletting, among other things — now has a $2.8 million budget to work with.

The office will expand to a staff of 29 from 12, turning the division into an active investigative unit, according to the newspaper.

“OSE will no longer be a reactive group but one that will go out and shut down the illegal hotels,” Upper West Side Council member Helen Rosenthal told the newspaper.

State law prohibits renting out an apartment for less than 30 days while the primary resident of the unit is away. In June, New York City had 15,500 illegal Airbnb hotel listings, the newspaper reported.

A recent study by a university professor concluded that Airbnb listings drive up the average one-bedroom apartment in New York City by $6 per month. The study found that increases were even steeper in tonier, more desirable neighborhoods. [NYP] — Claire Moses

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