Airbnb faces speed bumps in LA and NYC

LA and NYC lay down the law on Airbnb.
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Soon enough, it could be increasingly difficult to find an Airbnb in Los Angeles and New York City. Both cities have placed regulations on short-term rentals that affect Airbnb’s presence in a major way.

50% of LA’s Airbnbs are illegal?

Three years ago, the city of Angels established laws to regulate the short-term rental market. The laws were initially put into place to prevent apartment-to-Airbnb conversions as the city faces a persistent housing crisis, but it appears that most hosts have ignored the rules.

A new study from McGill University found that 45% of the Airbnb and Vrbo listings in the city were likely violating the city’s short-term rental laws. It also suggests that enforcement of said rules has been weak and that with the estimates, the city could have collected up to $300 million in fines last year. Instead, they only levied less than $40,000 in a similar time period. 

At first glance, it seems like good news for Airbnb, but short-term rental listings have dropped by a whopping 78% since the regulations were implemented in 2019. Airbnb has questioned the reliability of the study and their spokesperson Sam Randall explained, “We’re proud of the tools we’ve built in partnership with the city of Los Angeles to help officials enforce local rules.”

NYC could lose 10,000 Airbnbs

On the opposite coast, Airbnb might lose 10,000 listings in the Big Apple due to new regulations taking effect on January 9th. 

Mayor Eric Adams announced stringent new regulations on home-sharing tools like Airbnb and VRBO. The new rules require hosts to register their homes with the city’s Office of Special Enforcement or they could face a fine of up to $5,000. It doesn’t stop at registration, though. 

To successfully get registered, the homes and apartments must meet specific conditions. Homeowners in the NY area are already barred from renting out their entire apartment and can only rent spare bedrooms. Now they will also need to provide the full legal names of all residents, certify that they are compliant with zoning and safety regulations, and provide proof of the unit’s permanent status. 

New York is already known for its exorbitantly high rent prices and critics of the new regulation say that the extra income they earn from listing their place on Airbnb is the only way they can afford their place.

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