Tuesday, April 22, 2014

AirBnB wants to go legit; many just want them to go away

From the NY Post:

Nearly two-thirds of the city apartments recently listed on Airbnb were being offered in violation of the law, an analysis by state authorities has found.

The study of data from the subletting service’s own Web site showed 64 percent of its 19,500-plus offerings for Jan. 31 covered an “entire apartment,” says an affidavit from the state Attorney General’s Office.

By law, a “permanent resident” must be present to sublet an apartment for fewer than 30 days.

In addition, more than 200 of the offerings came from just five “hosts,” suggesting third parties were renting out pads on behalf of their owners.

“The top five hosts by number of listings had the following number of listings: 80, 35, 31, 29 and 28,” Sumanta Ray, director of research and analysis for the AG’s Investor Protection Bureau, wrote in the affidavit, obtained by The Post.

From the Daily News:

The popular home-sharing website Airbnb wants to go legal and pay its share of local taxes, but a group of affordable housing advocates are saying: Thanks for the offer, but we don’t want you here anyway.

The Real Affordability for All Coalition — made up of 50 tenant advocate and labor union groups — is accusing Airbnb of “throwing gasoline on a fire” by contributing to a growing affordable housing crisis.

“After years of operating an illegal enterprise in New York, your company is now apparently interested in paying your fair share of taxes and announcing that development as though you are some kind of charitable organization bestowing your riches on our city,” the Real Affordability for All Coalition writes in a letter to Airbnb founders, obtained by the Daily News.

Airbnb currently operates illegally in New York City because of a 2010 law that prohibits New Yorkers from renting out entire apartments for less than 29 consecutive days.

Last week, Airbnb asked state lawmakers to change the law and classify the service as a legal hotel. The company dangled in front of lawmakers an estimated $21 million in annual taxes it says it would contribute to the city and state.

Airbnb has asked state lawmakers to change the law and classify the service as a legal hotel, requiring it to pay taxes. The company told lawmakers the city and state would collect an estimated $21 million in annual taxes.

Affordable housing advocates, however, accused the San Francisco-based company of trying to lure lawmakers with a promise of tax dollars when all it’s doing is jacking up rents.

The group said it plans to put pressure on city enforcement authorities to crack down on existing laws “so that companies like yours can’t turn scarce affordable housing into illegal hotels.”


Anonymous said...

I hate airbnb.... it's so gross. Why would you allow strangers to come in and out of your home day after day? There's a bif difference between renting out and treating your home like a hotel.

Anonymous said...

AirBnB cant make the safety issue go away by promising taxes.

J said...

Why was this racket allowed to exist in the first place?

Apps,video games and this crap.this is what passes for invention in the 21st century.