Anybody traveling to New York City this weekend? It might be better to plan ahead and stay at a residential home rather than on a person’s bare floor—at least that’s what the city’s Dept. of Buildings says, suggesting residents who rent out the extra bedrooms in their home for a living find alternative accommodations. This new regulation aims to crack down on people violating their building’s zoning restrictions by operating illegal Airbnb-type hotel rooms in their building. Anyone breaking this new rule would face a fine.
We have already mentioned how popular Airbnb is here in New York City, but that’s not the whole story. Today’s decision on the new regulation is an attempt to crack down on Airbnbs that are illegal, but it also provides another tool for city officials to crack down on illegal hotels and short-term rentals that remain permitted. What that means for travelers is the city’s Department of Finance will be taking a much closer look at existing, hotel-like structures, and will be monitoring ways for people to recover insurance coverage if they are offering space for short-term rentals on properties without proper certificates of occupancy. More broadly, the new regulations will help improve safety in rental housing.
The business has exploded in recent years, but too often it’s the out of town travelers who wind up unknowingly renting apartments in buildings that aren’t supposed to be homes, creating potential hazards for residents. Unexpected visitors are also a drain on city services, which is likely why Mayor de Blasio announced a new $25 million effort to improve safety and quality in the city’s rentals. The new restrictions on illegal Airbnb activity would help enforce safety and well-being for hosts and tenants.
Short-term rentals are a more pressing issue for Boston than for New York, but here’s hoping the city gets on board, too.
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