An anonymous reader quotes a report from Wired: Thousands of Airbnbs and short-term rentals are about to be wiped off the map in New York City. Local Law 18, which came into force Tuesday, is so strict it doesn’t just limit how Airbnb operates in the city — it almost bans it entirely for many guests and hosts. From now on, all short-term rental hosts in New York must register with the city, and only those who live in the place they’re renting — and are present when someone is staying — can qualify. And people can only have two guests.
Gone are the days of sleek downtown apartments outfitted for bachelorette parties, cozy two- and three-bedroom apartments near museums for families, and even the option for people to rent out their apartment on weekends when they’re away. While Airbnb, Vrbo, and others can continue to operate in New York, the new rules are so tight that Airbnb sees it as a “de facto ban” on its business. The 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,” says Theo Yedinsky, global policy director for Airbnb. “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.”
According to Inside Airbnb, there are currently more than 40,000 Airbnbs in New York — 22,434 of those are short-term rentals. “While the number of rentals may be small compared to New York City’s population of 8 million people, Murray Cox, founder of Inside Airbnb, says some desirable neighborhoods are overly burdened by short-term rentals, which can result in housing shortages and higher rents,” reports Wired. “The new law, in theory, could open these homes to local residents.”
The implementation of the law shows “very clearly you can cut down on short-term rentals,” says Cox, who was part of the Coalition Against Illegal Hotels, a group that advocated for the registration law. “You can make these platforms accountable.”