On Thursday, vacation rental company Airbnb filed a lawsuit against New York City asking the court to halt the implementation of a new law which will require hosts to register for an operating license, as reported by Reuters.
“Local Law 18”, which New York City adopted in January 2022 and is scheduled to take effect next month, will mandate hosts to register with the New York City Mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement (OSE).
In its filing, Airbnb said that the New York’s city council effectively implemented “its most extreme and oppressive regulatory scheme yet, which operates as a de facto ban against short-term rentals in New York.”
The OSE application reviews will make sure “that only a miniscule number of hosts will ever be granted a registration,” it added.
The company is now asking the court to stop the enforcement of the law, saying it will limit the number of hosts in the largest city of the United States.
According to the filing, Airbnb saw $85 million in net revenue in New York City last year.
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The company said that more than 5,500 short-term rentals have already been booked to host over 10,000 guests in the city during the first week of July. It added that a previous law which became effective in 2021 caused the departure of 29,000 hosts from the short-term rental market in New York.
City hall will review the lawsuit
Following the news, Jonah Allon, a spokesman for Mayor Eric Adams, said that city hall will review the lawsuit.
“This administration is committed to protecting safety and community livability for residents, preserving permanent housing stock, and ensuring our hospitality sector can continue to recover and thrive,” said Allon.
“The rules governing short-term rentals … have been clear for years,” and the 2022 registration law was properly adopted by the city council,’’ he added.