REBNY urges Cuomo to sign bill banning Airbnb ads

Legislature passed bill in June

A group of developers and landlords is urging Gov. Andrew Cuomo to sign a bill into law that would ban short-term rental services like Airbnb from advertising illegal units.

The Real Estate Board of New York, the Rent Stabilization Board and others sent a letter to the governor asking him to sign a bill that they say would be “an important step in the right direction toward eliminating illegal short-term rentals,” the New York Daily News reported.

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In June, the state legislature passed the bill, which imposes fines starting at $1,000 on those who advertise their apartments on Airbnb and other sites for less than 30 days. It’s already illegal in New York to rent out an apartment for less than 30 days unless the sublessor occupies the apartment, but an analysis by The Real Deal in October showed that roughly 60 percent of Airbnb’s listings are for whole units. Despite removing over 2,200 illegal listings, the percentage of New York City units booked through the site for more than 180 days in a year — considered commercial listings — continues to increase, data shows. The number of hosts with multiple listings has also risen, a recent TRD analysis found.

A representative for Cuomo said the bill is being reviewed. A spokesperson for Airbnb said the bill is not only a blow to “middle class New Yorkers” but also “shows the world that New York would rather kowtow to politically connected interest groups than do what the citizens actually want.” [NYDN] — Kathryn Brenzel