Enforcement of anti-Airbnb law postponed once again

City’s lawyers ask federal judge to delay hearing on preliminary injunction
November 07, 2016 08:40AM

Nathan Blecharczyk,Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia and Bill de Blasio

Nathan Blecharczyk, Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia and Bill de Blasio

The new state law designed to clamp down on the kinds of illegal short-term rentals advertised on websites like Airbnb will not be enforced for at least another three weeks as city lawyers have asked a federal judge to postpone hearings on a proposed injunction.

The law took effect immediately last month when Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the bill, which imposes fines of up to $7,500 on hosts who list illegal short-term rentals in New York City.

Airbnb immediately filed a lawsuit against the city and state to block the new law, and lawyers for Mayor Bill de Blasio agreed to briefly delay enforcing the new law until a judge decided on a request for a preliminary injunction.

Judge Katherine Forrestal of Federal District Court in Manhattan has now extended that delay twice, as Airbnb and officials discuss a possible settlement, the Wall Street Journal reported.

A spokesperson for the mayor said the city “will continue to apply current state law to hold bad actors accountable,” adding that lawyers for the city believe they’re within their right to impose fines on individual hosts even while the case is pending.

An update on the case’s status is expected around Nov. 18.

Upper West Side state Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, who sponsored the state’s new law, said she wants to see it enforced as quickly as possible.

“Every single day that enforcing this law gets put off, means another day that we are losing housing that should be available to hardworking New Yorkers,” she said.

East Williamsburg and areas of Lower Manhattan have the most illegal listings in the city, and stand to be heavily impacted by the new law. [WSJ]Rich Bockmann