The Real Deal New York

Spinola: Rent regulation shouldn’t pay for Jersey Shore retreat

REBNY president opines on rent laws and Airbnb
March 19, 2015 08:34AM

Real Estate Board of New York president Steven Spinola sounded off on Airbnb and rent regulation laws in a new op-ed piece, supporting a City Council proposal to increase the size of the Mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement.

The proposal, intended to help enforce growing concerns about quality of life threatened by short-term rental services like Airbnb, would increase the size of the office from 12 to 25 staffers. Spinola supports the measure in his Real Estate Weekly article, saying that it would increase revenues for the city in building code violation fines, and that it would help protect the safety of tenants.

“What happens when the keys to the front door are shared or a security code is given out? These keys or passcodes can be duplicated and given to others,” he said.

Spinola also referenced the recent case in which a Hell’s Kitchen rent-stabilized tenant was evicted for renting his apartment on Airbnb for $649 per night. In addition to violating the city law that disallows profiting on rent-stabilized apartments, Spinola points out that this renter was living in a million dollar-plus home in Queens. If he had been using the Hell’s Kitchen apartment as his primary residence, despite the fact that he owned a second home, he would legally be able to benefit from rent stabilization.

“Why should anyone who owns a home anywhere be subsidized by rent regulations for an apartment, whether it is his or her primary residence or not?” Spinola asks. “Rent regulation is not intended to help someone pay their mortgage for their Jersey Shore retreat.”

New York’s rent regulation laws will be up for renewal this June. [Real Estate Weekly] — Tess Hofmann


  • Forward thinking NYer

    Stop AirBNB and VRBO, Homeaway, Flipkey, or Onefinestay will absorb the lost supply (demand isn’t going anywhere for this). We need to stop targeting innovation and instead adopt laws and regulations to allow the progression and the benefits home-sharing affords millions of NY’ers. Uber and Lyft has made this a better city for everyone. The yellow cab industry tried blocking these guys and thank god that didn’t work – it will be a sad day if the hotel industry succeeds here.

  • Why let rent stabilized tenants make investments? Why should they be allowed to buy stocks? Own bonds? Have 401k plans? Have savings accounts? Carry money in their wallets?

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  • REreader

    When does Spinola stop speaking? I thought he retired. This is an absurd suggestion. It’s actually anti capitalist.

  • comment flagged

    why not hire more staffers at DOB instead of the Air BnB police, that would be a better use of resources.

  • Marc

    I have a novel idea. It’s an idea that basically developed in the good ‘ol USA until Liberals started destroying our financial & social fabric c.1913: How about eliminating ALL rent regulations? FREE MARKETS RULE. Government is the destroyer of wealth & creator of poverty.

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