Airbnb's stake in the New York housing rental market could hit a major snag thanks to state lawmakers.
The New York State Senate passed a bill on June 17 that would prohibit users of the popular online hospitality marketplace from advertising apartments for short-term rentals, Reuters reported. Those who place such advertising could face fines up to $7,500 under the new legislation.
The bill heads to Gov. Andrew Cuomo who can either sign it into law or veto it. The law can also go into effect if he chooses not to sign it.
Democratic Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal, D-67, who sponsored the bill and represents the Upper West Side, Hell’s Kitchen and Clinton, said last April that the legislation would crack down on illegal hotel operators and protect tenants. “As we desperately try to fight to stem the loss of precious units of affordable housing,” she said in a press statement, “Airbnb’s presence in New York City is contributing to such a rapid loss of affordable housing that we simply cannot replace the units as fast as they are being lost to Airbnb. It must be stopped.”
Illegal and Violating Building Codes
Rosenthal's office claimed that Airbnb's website allows its users to “promote illegal activity that breaks New York State law, violates building and safety codes and zoning, threatens tenant safety, destabilizes our communities, and depletes our rapidly vanishing affordable housing stock.”