New York City is moving forward with a long-awaited crackdown on Airbnb hosts. On Friday, officials proposed a strict new registration system for hosts that will start in January. Under proposed rules that were quietly and unexpectedly made public on Friday, hosts won’t be able to rent out an “entire registered dwelling unit.” Also, hosts will have to show proof that their listings are permanent homes and draw diagrams of their apartments.
Hosts will also have to write down the “full legal name of all permanent residents of the dwelling” and how they are related to the host. The 30-page document says that they will also have to show their leases if they are renting and sign a statement that they understand all the zoning rules, building code rules, and other rules related to “multiple dwelling law.”
Under the new rules, hosts who don’t follow them can be fined up to $5,000. Airbnb and other platforms are required to verify the rental on their systems and could be fined $1,500 per violation.
The city council passed the registration law last year, but little was known about the details and requirements. The law goes into effect on January 9 and will be enforced by May 9. The proposed rules will be discussed at a public hearing on December 5.
Even though Boston and Santa Monica, California, and a few other cities have similar registration requirements, New York’s rules are much stricter and could make it much harder for hosts to rent out their apartments as they do now, say people who know the rules. The source said that one of the rules says hosts can’t lock doors that separate them from their guests. It also says that “a registered host shall not allow a rentee to have exclusive access to a separate room within a dwelling” and that, for example, “it is prohibited to give the rentee a key to lock the door when such rentee is not in the dwelling.”
“It seems like there are a lot of traps,” said someone who knows the rules inside and out.
It’s the latest fight between New York City and Airbnb, which has fought against the city’s efforts to regulate the business for a long time. At the same time, the city partly blames Airbnb for its lack of housing.
Officials in the city say that registration is needed because there are too many safety problems and bad hosts and landlords who don’t follow the rules that are already in place. For example, one law says that rentals for less than 30 days when the host isn’t there aren’t allowed.
Christian Klossner, the head of the Mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement, said in a statement, “These rules clarify short-term rental laws and lay out a simple way for hosts to get a registration for their legal rentals, as required by Local Law 18 of 2022.” “During the comment period, OSE is looking forward to hearing from the public.”
The OSE is in charge of regulating the home-sharing industry. It will be in charge of making sure the rules are followed and vetting the registration process. This includes letting landlords and building owners know about registrations. OSE will also let landlords and building owners know how to get on a list of buildings that don’t allow short-term rentals and how to apply to be on that list.
Airbnb said that it is looking over the rules, but called them “draconian.”
“As interpreted by the Office of Special Enforcement, the bill passed by the DeBlasio administration will create a draconian and unworkable registration system that will stop lawful and responsible hosts from listing their homes at a time when New York families are trying to deal with the rising cost of living,” a spokesperson for Airbnb said in a statement.
“We will keep talking with the current administration about how we can support an effective and clear regulatory framework that helps responsible hosts and goes after illegal hotel operators.”
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Jessa Martin is the author of Nogmagazine, A professional in writing by day, and novelist by night, she received her bachelor of arts in film from Howard University and her master of arts in media studies from the New School. A Brooklyn native, she is a lover of naps, cookie dough, and beaches, currently residing in the borough she loves, most likely multitasking.