Last updated: 11:54 AM ET, Mon December 21 2015

New York Aiming to Crack Down on Illegal Airbnb Listings

Travel Technology | Patrick Clarke | December 21, 2015

New York Aiming to Crack Down on Illegal Airbnb Listings

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New York politicians are working on a bill that would ban Airbnb hosts from advertising their unit unless they comply with a 2010 hotel state law that requires hosts to rent their unit out for more than 30 days.

The New York Daily News reported passage would make New York the first state to successfully enact such legislation.

Assembly bill sponsor Linda Rosenthal believes the bill would significantly help quell illegal renting as short-term vacation rental services like Airbnb are among the most popular forms of advertising. 

"What this bill is targeting is people or companies with multiple listings," Rosenthal told the Daily News. "There are so many units held by commercial operators, not individual tenants. They are bad actors who horde multiple units, driving up the cost of housing around them and across the city."

If the bill becomes law, landlords in the state would be required to notify tenants of the risks of renting certain units for short-term rentals, including lease violation and eviction.

Violators of the law would likely face fines of up to $7,500 per violation. 

A spokesman for Airbnb was critical of the proposal. "We should be working on some common-sense changes that help middle class families who share the home in which they live and depend on Airbnb to pay the bills," he told the Daily News, adding that company is prepared to work with lawmakers on a "common sense" solution to the issue.

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said that as many as 72 percent of Airbnb rentals in New York City are illegal. However the company contends that the figure is far less.

This month's efforts to weed out illegal Airbnb rentals comes two months after the company fought back against another bill that would have resulted in hefty fines against similar violations.

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