The Real Deal New York

Schneiderman vows to protect hotel industry against Airbnb

“They are selling to investors they are a hotel network and telling the public that they are not"

April 24, 2014 06:35PM

From left: Eric Schneiderman and Airbnb founders Nathan Blecharczyk, Joe Gebbia and Brian Chesky

From left: Eric Schneiderman and Airbnb founders Nathan Blecharczyk, Joe Gebbia and Brian Chesky

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman blasted short-term rental site Airbnb in his first public remarks about the site Thursday.

Standing before a group of business and political power players at the New York Athletic Club, Schneiderman vowed to protect the state’s “extraordinarily successful” hotel industry, the New York Post reported. He also accused the San Francisco-based startup of misrepresenting its business model to investors as the company gears up for a public offering later this year.

“What they’re telling investors… as they are moving toward an enormous IPO… are things like we just passed Hyatt, we’ve just passed Hilton,” Schneiderman said before the assembled crowd. “They are selling to investors they are a hotel network and they are telling the public that they are not.”

The remarks came amid state prosecutors’ push for Airbnnb records for hosts illegally renting out their apartments. A New York State Supreme Court judge in Albany heard arguments on the case Tuesday, during which Airbnb pushed for the subpoena to be dropped, but did not issue a ruling or say when one might come.

“We have no problem and we’ve never said if someone wants to rent out a room in their apartment, that doesn’t violate the law,” Scheiderman said at the athletic club event. “What is illegal is running illegal hotels.” [NYP]Julie Strickland

  • john

    You won’t stop the sharing economy…AIRBNB said they will work with you to go after the big time illegal hotel operators, not casual users. Work with them. You are obv more concerned about protecting future campaign contributions.

  • no-permits

    doesn’t schneiderman have more important things to do? now we know who he works for.. hotels. there’s no other reason than financial gain on his end or just a vendetta against airbnb. tax users and be done with it.

  • Perry

    The general is right

  • FourthAve

    Why do we elect these idiots? Is he living in the dark ages or something? People rent out apartments all over the world. We stay in apartments most of the times we have been to Europe.

    • guest user

      If you own your condo or coop or building and want to give permission to your tenants to rent out on a short term basis, then go right ahead.
      BUT – if you are renting an apartment from a landlord and illegally list nightly rentals on airbnb to make a profit you are violating the law and violating the terms of your lease agreement which is a legally binding contract.
      That is the point here.

    • affordable housing conflict

      rent regs prohibit profiteering by tenants who are enjoying an unnaturally low rent because it violates the spirit of the burden placed on landlords

      Is it still affordable housing if they are making all their regulated rent back in one weekend?

      What happens to the rest of the money they make on the other weekends or weeks or months? Does that hike up their rent to meet the 30% criteria of affordable housing?

      If the tenant market or regulated is using airbnb or roomster, the landlord deserves to know and charge them accordingly to match the 30% of income threshold demanded by tenant advocates.

  • Sh!t My Tenants Say

    I hope he also plans to protect neighbors of these selfish “hosts.” It is the wild west right now with sex parties and bedbugs and a long list of other common problems having transient tenants coming and going brings. Also, would it really be so hard to cross reference apartments with rent stabilized apartments? I wonder what % of airbnb users have their landlords/co-op boards permission to sublease. AirBnB should be for CONDOS ONLY IN NYC.

    • ditto

      YEAH!

      We have to have a public database of rent regulated apts so guests and airbnb cant claim that they didn’t know it was illegal.

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