City Council challenges Airbnb
New York City’s City Council voted on Wednesday to move a bill forward that will block rental services like Airbnb. For hosts to continue renting their space short-term, they will need to register their space with the Office of Special Enforcement.
If the bill passes, Airbnb will have to give the city their listings’ addresses, host-names, and their primary addresses. This is also a way for NYC to halt the operation of illegal hotels, which is common in the city. If companies like Airbnb don’t deliver this information, they will face a $1,500.
Airbnb strongly opposes the bill, as they believe it is a great way for struggling New York residents to make extra money. They also accused City Council of profiting from hotels – spokesperson Liz DeBold Fusco states,
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 fix was in from the start and now New Yorkers will be subject to unchecked, aggressive harassment and privacy violations, rubber stamped by the City Council.
The company isn’t the only one expressing its frustration, either. Airbnb hot Stanley Karol plans on filing a lawsuit against the city, claiming that hosting people in his home is his right.
It will be interesting to see if this bill passes; if it does, it could shape similar policies in other cities across the nation.
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