City Claims Most Airbnb Rentals in New York are Illegal

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As it turns out, The New York attorney general, Eric Schneiderman,  looked at four years of anonymized Airbnb user data and something didn’t quite add up. According to the analysis made by the attorney general’s office, up to 72 percent of the private, short-term New York City rentals analyzed over that time period were illegal, and Airbnb’s presence in the city significantly cuts into the long-term rental housing market.

In case anyone’s wondering, that’s really not good for an economy that’s already in turmoil. The analysis looked to distinguish who the Airbnb hosts were that were running illegally, and in turn, avoiding properly hotel taxes.

According to Forbes, a small group of power users made enormous sums of money running listings on Airbnb. Only 6 percent of hosts ran these large-scale operations but collected 37 percent of all the revenue. More than 100 users rented out 10 or more different apartments regularly through Airbnb. Together, they pulled in $59.4 million in revenue over the four-year span. And Airbnb’s most prolific host in New York made $6.8 million running 272 listings.

Most of the listings were small so they went under the radar for a while, all while still violating occupancy or zoning laws. Some listings were for buildings not zoned for residences, and other listings short-term (under 30 days) rentals in multi-unit buildings where the host is not present, which are not allowed.

Some listings were also running as hostels, with multiple unrelated bookings for the same room. Others were multi-unit buildings that had short-term rentals going on for more than half the year, making the buildings unavailable to long-term tenants and operating as hotels. Essentially deemed the listing to be unable to rent long-term and receive the appropriate compensation.

So what happens now?

Airbnb spokesman Nick Papas said, “We should not deny thousands of New Yorkers the chance to share their homes, pay their bills and stay in the city they love. We need to work together on some sensible rules that stop bad actors and protect regular people who simply want to share the home in which they live.”

[via Forbes]

Gayana Sark | News Cult

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