A judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by Airbnb Inc. (NASDAQ:ABNB) against New York City over a 2022 law that the company said created an unofficial ban on short-term rentals in the city.
According to a Reuters report, the company said the city’s enforcement of Local Law 18 created a “de facto ban” against short-term rentals. The law requires owners of properties seeking to engage in short-term rental to register with the mayor’s office and to disclose who else is living in the property. Owners also need to pledge they will comply with construction, maintenance and zoning ordinances. But AirBNB claimed these requirements were confusing and onerous, adding they seemed to exist only to make it more difficult to transact short-term rentals.
However, Justice Arlene Bluth of a state court in Manhattan said it was “inherently rational” for the city to require registrations, declaring this was meant to reduce the number of illegal short-term rental listings. In her defense of the city’s law, she pointed to municipal data covering nearly 12,000 complaints about short-term rentals from 2017 to 2021.
“Clearly, respondents have identified a major problem and these rules attempt to address that issue,” Bluth wrote.
Enforcement of the law goes into effect on Sept. 5 – an earlier starting day in early July was delayed by the lawsuit. Theo Yedinsky, global policy director for Airbnb, stated the city’s rules were “a blow to its tourism economy and the thousands of New Yorkers and small businesses in the outer boroughs who rely on home sharing and tourism dollars to help make ends meet.”
Photo courtesy Coldwell Banker