The Real Deal New York

Airbnb City Council hearing gets heated

New bill would double maximum fine for illegal hotel
November 01, 2015 04:00PM

A City Council Housing and Building Committee hearing on Airbnb reportedly erupted into shouts and threats Friday, with one legislator saying that he hopes to fine “illegal hotels” up to $100,000.

“I came here thinking $50,000 [fines] were an overreach, but after hearing your testimony, maybe it’s not,” Councilman Jumaane Williams told Chris Lehane, head of global policy for Airbnb.

Public Advocate Letitia James accused Airbnb officials “of turning a blind eye as site users routinely rent out residences as illegal hotels,” the New York Post wrote.

The committee heard over five hours of testimony regarding three bills that would put restrictions on home sharing sites like Airbnb.

One bill by Councilwoman Helen Rosenthal would double maximum fines for violators from $25,000 to $50,000, according to the Post. [NYP]Christopher Cameron