HABITAT

LEGAL/FINANCIAL

Are More Than Half of the City's Sublets Illegal?

New York City

Airbnb Report

July 8, 2016 — Critics say Airbnb is “swallowing up” affordable housing.

Last week we reported on new tech tools that help keep illegal subletters out of your co-op or condo. Today we tell you why: A new report issued by Share Better claims that more than 28,000 Airbnb listings – slightly more than half of all New York City sublet offerings – constitute entire apartments, which violates housing laws.

“Airbnb’s practices are swallowing up affordable housing units,” Public Advocate Letitia James said, adding that there needs to be more oversight of the business, amNewYork reports.

The New York State Multiple Dwelling Law prohibits the renting out of apartments within buildings with three or more units for less than 30 days, unless the owner or a family member is present. Last month, the State Legislature passed a bill that would fine people who post such listings up to $7,500. The bill is awaiting a final signature from the governor.

Airbnb refuted the claims by Share Better, contending that their listings are legal and 72 percent of New York hosts are “low, middle or moderate income earners.” Airbnb spokesman Peter Schottenfels said that many of their hosts avoid foreclosure and other financial problems thanks to the service.

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