Airbnb may generate $1B in NYC economic activity this year, despite legal questions

State senator sponsors bill to revise 2011 short-term rental law
May 13, 2013 11:30AM

Airbnb, a website that offers apartment rentals by the night, could produce $1 billion in New York City’s economic activity this year, according to figures acquired by Crain’s. That’s despite the city’s recent efforts to enforce a 2011 state law prohibiting short-term rentals.

About 87 percent of the site’s listings are for apartments in Manhattan neighborhoods outside of the hotel-heavy stretch from 14th to 59th streets, the newspaper said.

Meanwhile, Airbnb and at least one state lawmaker are pushing for changes to the law, which made it illegal for residents to rent an apartment for less than 29 days. Airbnb has enlisted lobbyists to make its case, as previously reported, while State Senator Martin Golden has sponsored a bill to revise the law.

His plan would create an exemption for a “specific class of good actors” that provide tax revenue and tourism funds to the state and city. Potential short-term landlords would pay the Department of Buildings $200 per apartment to register it as a short-term rental unit, Crain’s said.

State Senator Liz Krueger, who sponsored the original bill, opposed the proposed revision. [Crain’s]Mark Maurer