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New York - Does The New Hotel Law Mean No More Craigslist Vacation Rentals?

Published on: July 27, 2010 11:42 PM
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New York - Now that New York has outlawed short-term apartment and room rentals, a practice that has given budget travelers an alternative to the city’s pricey hotels, we’ve got to wonder: How will the new law be enforced?

The new law, signed by Gov. David Paterson on Friday, makes it illegal to rent space in most multifamily residential buildings for less than 30 days at a stretch. It reverses a 2009 court decision that sanctioned short-term rentals so long as fewer than half of all units in a residential building were used for non-permanent residents.

The legislation points to Web’s role in making it “easier than ever to advertise illegal hotel rooms for rent to tourists.” Websites like Craigslist.org, AirBnb.com, and Homeaway.com have become popular clearinghouses for short-term rentals, with many listing accommodations — albeit of varying quality — for under $100. The average rate for a night in a New York City hotel last month was $231.

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So will this new law, which goes into effect next May, create a new law-enforcement team tasked with trolling Craigslist for illegal rentals?

Fun as that might be to imagine, enforcement will be far more mundane.

According to Jason Post, a spokesman for the mayor, responsibility for investigating illegal rentals will fall to the Mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement, a force that deals with quality of life issues. Post said enforcement will be “complaint based” and fueled largely by calls to 311, but he did not rule out the notion that investigators would monitor rental-listing websites. “There are a lot ways to receive complaints,” he said.

Penalties will be set by an administrative law judge and can run as high as $2,000 for a violation. Those dwelling in an illegal short-term residence will not be tossed out onto the street unless a safety hazard was also found, Post said.


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1

 Jul 28, 2010 at 01:16 AM Anonymous Says:

This is all part of the overall system in play in New York where the government puts the role of caring for the homeless on the landlords. Once the tenant is there for 30 days or more it can take 3 to 6 months to get him out even if he doesn't pay one cent of rent.

2

 Jul 28, 2010 at 01:36 AM Anonymous Says:

What is the problem that this law was designed to solve?

3

 Jul 28, 2010 at 02:58 AM Anonymous Says:

There was an article today in one of the major papers that this pending law is basically without merits and is already heading to the courts for a long battle, it was mastermind & pushed through by the big hotel chains who want to control the market so they figured out a way 'with the help of some corrupted politicians' to introduce this new law, but this law will likely get squashed in the end by the courts the same as a lot of new laws who ended up geting squashed by the courts.
With this new law renting out an apartment for the Yomim tovim or for choson kalah for short term will be illegal!

4

 Jul 28, 2010 at 05:49 AM Anonymous Says:

$2,000 per violation, it sounds like another Bloomberg tactic to cover the budget!

5

 Jul 28, 2010 at 07:40 AM Anonymous Says:

Does anyone know the law or where to find it?
Which kind of properties does this apply to?
Can I rent out my basement guest-apartment to a family for yomtov?

6

 Jul 28, 2010 at 08:44 AM Anonymous Says:

There was an article today in one of the major papers that this pending law is basically without merits and is already heading to the courts for a long battle, it was mastermind & pushed through by the big hotel chains who want to control the market so they figured out a way 'with the help of some corrupted politicians' to introduce this new law, but this law will likely get squashed in the end by the courts the same as a lot of new laws who end up geting squashed by the courts.
With this new law, renting out an apartment for the Yomim tovim or for choson kalah for short term will be illegal!

7

 Jul 28, 2010 at 09:25 AM prominant 5T lawyer Says:

#5..yes, but they may never move out.

8

 Jul 28, 2010 at 09:58 AM Donovan Says:

This is a troubling law to me. There are a lot of great rental sites out there, like MetroFlats.com. We need choices, not restrictions.

9

 Jul 28, 2010 at 10:13 AM Anonymous Says:

The way I read it, it is only for apartment buildings. I guess this is what "Multi-Family" means here.
I don't think it is meant for basement or guest-apartment to a family for yomtov, a simche, or such.
Who knows?

10

 Jul 28, 2010 at 10:21 AM a Says:

What is the qualification for a building to be considered a "multifamily residential building"?

11

 Jul 28, 2010 at 10:22 AM Anonymous Says:

Next they'll outlaw having guests even for free, and rename the city S'dom.

#2, I suspect the "problem" they were trying to solve is the wealthy hotel owners now had to compete with regular folks for housing visitors to the city. It comes down to $$$, and keeping it in the hands of those who already have plenty.

12

 Jul 28, 2010 at 10:31 AM YOM TOV Says:

you can rent minimmum for 30 days
then you can return money if they stay only 2 days, 5 days ,1 week,etc

13

 Jul 28, 2010 at 10:49 AM Anonymous Says:

My condominium building has a small guest apartment that condo owners can reserve and rent for people who come to visit. This way the guests will have their own space and we don't have to put air mattresses on the floor to accomodate everyone. The general public can't come and rent, just the condo owners. We're certainly not in competition with the hotels, but this new law will outlaw our guest apartment. How stupid is that?

14

 Jul 28, 2010 at 05:01 PM basmelech Says:

I wouldn't worry about it too much. People like us would only rent to "unzere" and they can be called guests, not renters.

15

 Jul 28, 2010 at 05:21 PM taxes Says:

the law was made to collect on the taxes that the state (and the city as well - 1 of the reasons why the city supports this bill) collects from the hotel industry as they are higher then just property and/or income tax
as well as to regulate the condition of the rooms being rented

the hotel industry got behind this bill not only because of the competition but also because they pay high taxes and these landlords dont pay hotel taxes

16

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