New York Enforces New Housing Regulations; Airbnb Opposes

October 22
6:00 AM 2016

The battle in the City of New York heats up after Airbnb filed a lawsuit against its hometown San Francisco and in Santa Monica, California. Both states have moved to charge the company for its illegal listings.

The company, on the other hand, claimed that this new regulation in New York would cause it "irreparable harm".

Aside from its struggles in New York, Airbnb is also going through rough roads in Amsterdam and Barcelona, Spain, where hosts who list illegal rentals were penalized, and in Berlin where most short-term rentals were banned.

This new regulation enforced in New York City enables authorities to fine hosts up to $7,500 once they are caught listing a property on a rental platform such as Airbnb.

Assemblywoman Linda B. Rosenthal, a Manhattan Democrat who sponsored the bill, said that New York is taking a bold step that will hopefully set a standard for the rest of the country and other countries in the world who are struggling with the impact of Airbnb on affordable housing.

Airbnb, which has tripled in value in just two years to $30 billion, is fighting hard against any regulation that would affect the number of hosts on its platform. The company cannot expand without a steadily increasing number of hosts, and its rental revenue growth could slow as more cities around the world move to push potential providers off the platform.

Airbnb filed its complaint in the Federal District Court in the Southern District of New York, Friday afternoon. In its lawsuit, the company insists that the latest New York law violates that company's constitutional rights to free speech, due process, as well as the protection it is bounded under the Communication Decency Act which is as federal law that declared that websites cannot be held accountable for any content published by its users.

In the complaint, Airbnb said that the new law would impose significant immediate burdens and irreparable harm on the company.

Airbnb filed the complaint against State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, Mayor Bill de Blasio and the City of New York.

Schneiderman said in a statement that Airbnb cannot have it both ways. It must be either police illegal activity on its own site, or the government will act to protect New Yorkers.

Airbnb is a peer-to-peer online marketplace and homestay network that enables people to list or rent short-term lodging in residential properties, with the cost of such accommodation set by the property owner. The company receives percentage service fees from both guests and hosts in conjunction with every booking. It has over 2,000,000 listings in 34,000 cities and 191 countries.

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