Airbnb Stays Deemed Illegal in New York City, Says Judge

Because of a law enacted in 2011 which prevents residents of the city of New York from renting out their properties for fewer than 29 days, an administrative judge ruled that Nigel Warren violated what is known as the “illegal hotel law” and fined him $2,400.00 for using Airbnb to lease part of his condominium apartment, arguing that the apartment “may only be used as private residences and may not be rented for transient, hotel, or motel purposes.”

This is the dwelling at which FlyerTalk member MichaelWTravels stayed at in Singapore last year. Photograph by FlyerTalk member MichaelWTravels. Click on the photograph for a trip report written by MichaelWTravels.

FlyerTalk members discuss their experiences with Airbnb, as well as what you should know if you are considering using this service. There is a glowing review of using the Airbnb service for lodging in Singapore as posted by FlyerTalk member MichaelWTravels, for example. I personally have never used the service.
Some FlyerTalk members like to use a specific feature of Airbnb as a guide to neighborhoods in cities — a particularly useful tool especially if you intend to use the Airbnb service as a traveler.
Founded in 2008, Airbnb is a service based in San Francisco with eleven offices around the world which allows people to list, discover, and book unique accommodations around the world — either via the Internet or from a mobile telephone. One of the ways you can use Airbnb is to sublet all or a portion of your home to a traveler who might otherwise book a hotel room — or perhaps you are traveling and want to experience the local “flavor” of your destination while possibly paying a lower rate for your accommodations…
…but the question is this: if using the Airbnb is against the law in New York — unless the stay is 29 days or greater — in what other municipalities could Airbnb and similar lodging services be considered illegal? Is there a possibility that the stay could be interrupted as well as the owner being penalized with a fine? What if the condominium or housing association bylaws which may govern the rules of the community in which the home is located prevent the use of Airbnb?
Regardless of possible risks — minimal as they might be — would you consider using the Airbnb service either to rent out your home or to stay in the home of someone else when you travel?

One thought on “Airbnb Stays Deemed Illegal in New York City, Says Judge”

  1. duniawala says:

    I have used Airbnb and it is great. Although it may be illegal in some areas to rent out like NY (Paris also comes to mind), I wonder how many authorities are looking to prosecute. Are they going through Airbnb listing on a daily basis and finding who is renting on what day, etc. It is more of a income tax issue. I feel that the law was enacted due to lobbying by the hotel industry.

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