At the beginning of this year, the City of New York filed this lawsuit in an attempt to shut down an Airbnb business that has supposedly generated around $20 million in revenue since 2012. It is currently illegal to rent out an apartment in most buildings in the city for less than 30 days unless the owner/permanent tenant is present. And that’s not how this business was being operated.
Here are the locations of the rentals named in the lawsuit (map from the New York Times):
The defendants include a real estate brokerage, the three partners behind the business (more on them here), as well as others. NYC has been trying to pass legislation that would force Airbnb to disclose more information to the Mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement. Information such as the full name(s) and address(es) of every host and whether the short-term rental is an entire dwelling or a room. That presumably would have helped here.
For more on the lawsuit and the backstory, click here.
You may also find it interesting to go back to the five-point plan that Airbnb put forward back in 2016. It was intended to serve as a framework for new short-term rental legislation. The points make a lot of sense.