A significant change has taken place in New York City that will make it much more difficult to rent an Airbnb. Effective September 5, a new ordinance called Local Law 18 now requires all short-term rental hosts to be registered with the city, live in the property they are renting, be present during guests’ stays, and accommodate only a maximum of two guests at a time.
This new rule impacts all short-term rental booking platforms, including popular ones like Airbnb, Booking.com, Expedia Group’s Vrbo, and others.
The implementation of this regulation is expected to result in the elimination of numerous Airbnb listings in New York City. Theo Yedinsky, Airbnb’s global policy director, expressed concerns over the economic impact of this decision: “New York City’s new short-term rental rules are a blow to its tourism economy and the thousands of New Yorkers and small businesses in the outer boroughs who rely on home sharing and tourism dollars to help make ends meet. The city is sending a clear message to millions of potential visitors who will now have fewer accommodation options when they visit New York City: you are not welcome.”
In response to the city’s actions, Airbnb filed a lawsuit in June arguing that the rule is effectively banning short-term rentals in New York City. However, the case was dismissed by a judge in August.
Experts predict that as a result of this new law, the total number of Airbnb listings in New York City could decrease by up to 70%. Aware of the upcoming changes, Airbnb had already blocked calendars to prevent new reservations as early as August 14, as stated on their official website.
Fortunately for guests who had already made bookings with check-ins scheduled on or before December 1, their reservations will not be canceled. Airbnb has committed to refunding all associated fees to comply with the short-term rental regulations after check-in occurs.