The New York City Council voted unanimously on Wednesday to significantly restrict Airbnb and other online home rental services, joining a growing movement of cities around the globe in stepping up regulation of the so-called sharing economy.
The bill aims to prevent landlords and tenants from illegally renting out apartments for a few days at a time to tourists, a phenomenon that the city says has aggravated the housing crisis by making short-term rentals more profitable than long-term leases.
The new disclosure requirements would make it much easier for the city to enforce the state law and could lead to many of the 50,000 units rented through Airbnb in the city coming off the market.
Online rental services like Airbnb and HomeAway would be required to provide the addresses and names of hosts to the city’s Office of Special Enforcement every month, and to note whether rentals are for a whole apartment or just a room.
If the bill is signed into law, New York will join cities like San Francisco; New Orleans; Barcelona, Spain; and Vancouver, British Columbia, in regulating companies that profit from facilitating short-term rentals.
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