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New York Is About to Crack Down on Home-Sharing Platforms Like Airbnb

July 19, 2018, 10:30 AM UTC

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is expected to sign into law a bill that cracks down on home-sharing platforms such as Airbnb and HomeAway.

The bill, which passed a council vote unanimously on Wednesday, would force the platforms to disclose the addresses and hosts for each property listing on a monthly basis. The law would help officials enforce a New York state law that bans the rental of apartments for less than 30 days, unless the permanent tenant is also there during the short-term rental period.

“We’re in an affordable housing crisis. We’re in a homelessness crisis. And Airbnb will not give us this data,” said Council speaker Cory Johnson before the vote, according to the New York Times.

Johnson said there had been an “overwhelming” number of constituent complaints about short-term rentals. But Airbnb, and some of its hosts, say the hotel industry is behind the move.

“After taking hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from the hotel industry, we’re not surprised the City Council refused to meet with their own constituents who rely on home sharing to pay the bills and then voted to protect the profits of big hotels,” the platform said.

The bill echoes legislation in other parts of the world, where regulators have cracked down on the home-sharing platforms.

In Barcelona, Spain, Airbnb has to cooperate with city officials in removing illegal tourist lodgings from its listings. Vancouver, Canada, this year made short-term lets subject to a new licensing regime, as did San Francisco.

Interestingly, the German capital of Berlin had very strict anti-Airbnb laws but relaxed them in March, opting for a permit system rather than an outright ban.