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LEGAL/FINANCIAL

New Hotline Is Latest Addition to Anti-Airbnb Arsenal

New York City

Airbnb Hotline

June 15, 2017 — Let your fingers do the walking when you want to shut down an illegal short-term sublet.

An anti-Airbnb coalition of politicians, housing groups and unions has created a hotline called ShareBetter, designed to help New Yorkers file “actionable complaints” against illegal short-term sublets, the Daily News reports.

A bane to many co-op and condo boards, short-term sublets have been the target of numerous recent city and state measures, including the levying of fines for illegal sublet advertising.

“Airbnb is clearly unwilling to bring its operation into compliance with the law, so we have to do the job ourselves,” says Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, a Manhattan Democrat. “This new hotline will educate, engage and mobilize neighborhood residents to stand up to Airbnb by filing complaints that will help the city with enforcement actions.”

The hotline will be live beginning Tuesday and promoted via targeted digital media and engaging tenants in areas where Airbnb is most used, organizers said. It will be staffed with live operators from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. It will also have a message service that will forward after-hour calls that can be returned the next working day.

The hotline number is 646-979-4117.

Airbnb officials have blamed the hotel industry’s “cartel” for pushing draconian anti-Airbnb measures, citing a push by the American Hotel and Lodging Association to lobby for anti-Airbnb laws at the local, state, and federal levels.

Airbnb spokesman Peter Schottenfels said the new hotline “is nothing more than another attempt to pit neighbor against neighbor by a shady hotel front group grasping at straws to protect their ability to price gouge."

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