The 2011 New York state law that made renting out apartment units or rooms in residential buildings for less than 30 days unlawful, coupled with Airbnb’s booming short-term rental business, has served a one-two punch to the city’s traditional bed and breakfasts.
The number of bed and breakfasts has fallen by half since 2011, according to data from BnbFinder.com cited by Crain’s. Currently, the site lists only nine such properties in New York City.
One New York City innkeeper launched a nonprofit advocacy group in 2011 called StayNYC.org, which lobbies legislators and serves as a resource for Airbnb owners. The group’s aim, according to founder and Ivy Terrace townhouse owner Vinessa Milandro, is to persuade the state to carve out an exemption for them. Such a move would involve registering with the city’s Department of Finance and paying the same taxes as hotels.
“We decided that we needed to get our message out there,” Milandro told Crain’s. “What has happened since 2011 is that Airbnb has become so popular, and legislators are not rushing to change any laws.” [Crain’s] — Julie Strickland