In the three months since the state's anti-Airbnb bill went into effect, the city has issued fines on 139 listings. That leaves a mere 24,000 more to investigate.
Earlier this week the city announced two women forked over $1,000 each, one for renting out her pad in Trump Tower, the other, her place in a co-op building on the Lower East Side. They were the first hosts to pay up under the new state law banning advertising for home rentals of less than 30 days. But a staggering amount of New York listings remain on the Airbnb site.
The number of potentially illegal Airbnb listings was 23,639 as of April, according to data from the company, though a portion of those ads could be for a stay in a single-family home or another type of dwelling exempt from the legislation. But based on current rates, it would take the Mayor's Office of Special Enforcement 43 years to run down those potential violations.
Rather than go after every one, City Hall's goal likely is to fine enough hosts to discourage the illegal listings and have the numbers come down on their own. Thus far officials have focused on owners of multiunit building who essentially run illegal hotels by renting out multiple apartments for short stays. The mayor plans to add inspectors going forward.
At least for now, hosts with only one listing have a slimmer chance of being caught, and according to Airbnb's site, 96% of hosts fall into this category. Since they stand to earn $750 a week on average, paying off the fine might not prove to be much of a deterrent.