In January, Airbnb listed New York City as the third-most travelled to city for business trips on its new “Airbnb for Business” platform. The announcement comes a month after the company released data showing that nearly 60 percent of Airbnb users in New York City are renting out their entire apartments while they are not at home—which is illegal under New York State law.
This comes about four months after the City of New York hired Christian Klossner as the executive director of the Mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement (MOSE). MOSE leads an interagency task force going after illegal hotels New York City.
As a former narcotics prosecutor, Klossner told reporters back in October that he will be using similar strategies to go after illegal hotels in the city. He noted that the process would go from a complaint-driven system to one that actively sought out illegal hotels.
“MOSE is in a transitional phase during which we are expanding upon previous successes and developing a strategic approach to more pro-active enforcement. This will mean expanding staff and skill sets, identifying the most egregious offenders, and deploying a wider array of tactics calibrated to specific trends,” says Klossner in a statement to the City Council.
This represents a larger trend by city officials taking illegal short-term rentals more seriously. MOSE has since received a $10 million budget boost, hired new staffers, started a public awareness campaign, is using state-of-the-art data to find illegal operators. In addition, the City Council has budgeted money for 17 new inspectors, more than doubling the current number. The City Council is also looking at proposals that would increase the fines violators, as well as building owners and boards, would receive.