Thursday, June 11, 2015
City Council plans to go after AirBnB
Landlords who illegally rent out their apartments as hotel rooms through services such as Airbnb would face tougher fines under a new City Council proposal.
The fine for a first-time offense would skyrocket from $1,000 to $10,000 and the maximum penalty would be $50,000, said City Councilwoman Helen Rosenthal, D-Manhattan, who is co-sponsoring the legislation. Violators could also be fined an additional $2,000 per day for each day the original fine is not paid, WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reported.
Rosenthal said the current $1,000 first-time fine does little to deter property owners.
“They treat it as the cost of doing business,” she said.
“We’re going to move to a system where there’s no financial incentive to behave as an illegal hotel operator. And that’s the goal of increasing the fines,” Rosenthal added.
In October, state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said nearly three-quarters of the New York City listings offered by Airbnb violate city or state laws. Some opponents have argued the service shrinks the city’s stock of affordable housing.