City Council Votes to Require Short-Term Rental Registry

Image credit: New York City Council.

The bill will prevent the listing of illegal short term rentals on sites like AirBnb. On December 9, 2021, the City Council voted to approve Int. 2309-A, which requires short term rentals to register with the Mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement. The bill helps in the City’s fight against illegal short term rentals like AirBnbs. The bill was sponsored by Council Member Ben Kallos.

Currently, it is illegal to rent out an entire apartment or home for less than 30 days, and the host must be present during the guests’ stay. It is also illegal under state law to advertise an apartment in a Class A multiple dwelling (typically a building with three or more permanent residential units) for rent for 30 days or less. Illegal short term rentals reduce the available housing stock, can be dangerous in events of emergency, and can result in quality of life issues for other building residents. The Mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement helps ensure compliance with short-term rentals.

The new bill will require applicants who want to rent out rooms in Class A dwellings for less than 30 consecutive days as short-term rentals to register with the Mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement. The Office will issue a registration number before the applicant will be permitted to rent out rooms. Booking services would then be required to verify the registration number of any accommodation before listing it on their service. 

The law takes effect twelve months after it becomes law, with the exception of the provisions permitting enforcement against hosts and booking services, which shall take effect in sixteen months. 

Council Member Kallos stated, “Housing should be for New Yorkers. Hotels should be for tourists. We need every apartment being listed illegally on Airbnb back on the market to help our affordable housing crisis. At a time when hotels are closing or sitting there empty, it is crazy to see apartments all over the city getting converted into illegal Airbnbs.”

By: Veronica Rose (Veronica is the CityLaw fellow and a New York Law School graduate, Class of 2018.)


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