The Real Deal New York

Small-time Airbnb hosts getting hit hard by de Blasio administration

Almost 200 homeowners have been hit with fire-alarm violations since 2015
July 11, 2018 10:57AM

Mayor Bill De Blasio and an apartment door (Credit: Getty Images and Pixabay)

New York City is hovering the microscope over homeowners leasing short-term rentals, even targeting one- and two-family homes.
After new laws were introduced in 2010 to crack down on the explosion of in-house hotels through sites like Airbnb, which normally targeted larger buildings, the city has in recent years turned its attention to even smaller short-term rentals, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Amid the crackdown, the city is focusing on a strict standard that makes it illegal to rent out an entire house or unit for less than 30 days. For example, this prohibits internal locks on doors to divide the unit and requires the owner to live-in the unit.

Since 2015, at least 193 owners of one- or two-family homes have been issued a $2,500 violation requiring a fire alarm system fit for a hotel, according to the report. This is startling to small-time hosts, considering no fire-alarm violations were issued in 2014. Of the violations issued since 2016, the mayor’s office said 20 percent have been to one- and two-family homes.

The city has also bolstered the Mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement, which issues the violations, by almost sixfold. Its budget has risen to $6.45 million and staff has increased from 11 to 48 since June 2015.

City Council member Robert Cornegy’s proposed bill to exempt some one- and two-family homes from enforcement has slim prospects of being approved.  [WSJ] — David Jeans