The mayor's office on Monday unveiled a set of proposed rules that will force short-term rental sites such as Airbnb to disclose the identities of hosts and the types of listings they are offering. The new statues are the result of a law enacted earlier this year that's designed to aid city inspectors in cracking down on illegal home sharing—which they have done in grand fashion lately.
Absent certain exceptions, the new rules propose that booking services submit monthly reports to the Mayor's Office of Special Enforcement through a yet-to-be-create web portal or face fines up to the larger of $1,500 or the annual income from the listing. The reports are to include a host's personal information, how much money changed hands, where to find advertising materials for listings and, most crucially, whether an entire apartment was being rented out and for how long.
Renting an empty unit for fewer than 30 days in larger buildings is considered a violation of the state's multiple dwelling law, and the mayor's office has invoked that statute to ding homeowners or building owners and then hit them with additional violations for not having exit signs, sprinklers and other safety measures required in hotels.
"This law provides the city with the critical information it needs to preserve our housing stock, keep visitors safe, and ensure residents feel secure in their homes and neighborhoods," Christian Klossner, executive director of the Office of Special Enforcement, said in a statement.
The administration is hosting a public hearing on the proposed rules Dec. 18, after which the mayor's office is likely to adopt them in some form. The effort is part of the city's opposition to illegal home sharing, a thorny issue involving a nebulous mix of housing economics, politics and pricey public relations campaigns.