UNITED STATES NEWS

Lawsuits filed by Airbnb and 3 hosts over NYC’s short-term rental rules dismissed by judge

Aug 8, 2023, 5:36 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — A New York judge on Tuesday dismissed lawsuits filed by Airbnb and three hosts over New York City’s rules for short-term rentals, saying the restrictions are “entirely rational.”

In a 14-page ruling, Supreme Court Judge Arlene P. Bluth said having to comply with a registration system does not present an “overly onerous obligation” to the company and hosts. Such a system, she said, will help identify many illegal short-term rentals before they’re listed on the Airbnb platform.

“To be sure, these rules will likely not be perfect,” she added. “But it addresses a problem raised by OSE (New York City Mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement) and avoids a key obstacle — enforcing the ban on illegal short-term rentals.”

A city official cited thousands of illegal short-term rentals when defending the new rules in court, noting 43,000 on just Airbnb in 2018. The city received nearly 12,000 complaints regarding illegal short-term rentals from 2017 to 2021.

New York’s 2022 ordinance requires owners to register with the mayor’s office, disclose who else lives in the property, and promise to comply with zoning, construction and maintenance ordinances.

San Francisco-based Airbnb has called the restrictions “extreme and oppressive” and a de facto ban against short-term rentals that left the company no choice but to sue.

“Taken together, these features of the registration scheme appear intended to drive the short-term rental trade out of New York City once and for all,” Airbnb said in June. The company said the mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement “failed to consider reasonable alternatives.”

Asked to respond to the court’s decision, Theo Yedinsky, global policy director for Airbnb, on Tuesday evening said the city’s rules are “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.”

“The city is sending a clear message to millions of potential visitors who will now have fewer accommodation options when they visit New York City: you are not welcome,” he said in a statement.

Debbie Greenberger, an attorney who represents the three Airbnb hosts who sued the city in a companion lawsuit, said in a statement that her clients are disappointed in the ruling, arguing how the city’s rules “go after regular New Yorkers instead of illegal hotel operators.” She called on city officials to allow Airbnb hosts to rent out their own homes on a short-term basis “in order to be able to afford to live in this increasingly unaffordable city.”

The city is expected to begin enforcing the law on Sept. 5. A message was left seeking comment with the city’s Law Department about the judge’s ruling.

Airbnb sued New York state in 2016 over a ban on advertising short-term rentals. It dropped that lawsuit when the city promised not to enforce it. In 2020, Airbnb settled a lawsuit against the city over monthly reporting requirements for its listings. Airbnb said the 2022 ordinance violates both settlements.

The New York restrictions are among many efforts by local communities to regulate short-term rentals without banning them. New Orleans is among cities taking on the rental giant after a court struck down a previous law.

United States News

Boeing is now aiming for its first astronaut launch at the beginning of June. Officials for the com...

Associated Press

Boeing’s 1st astronaut flight now set for June after a review of small leak on new capsule

Boeing is now aiming for its first astronaut launch in early June, after spending weeks struggling with more problems on the space capsule.

6 hours ago

Associated Press

Lawsuit filed in the death of dancer with a peanut allergy who died after eating mislabeled cookie

WATERBURY, Conn. (AP) — The estate of a young dancer who died after eating a mislabeled cookie containing peanuts has filed a wrongful death lawsuit, claiming the failure to properly label the package was grossly negligent. Órla Ruth Baxendale, 25, died Jan. 11 after eating a Florentine cookie sold by grocery retailer Stew Leonard’s and […]

7 hours ago

Colorado River settlement center of new Navajo Nation push...

Associated Press

Tribes say their future is at stake as they push for Congress to consider Colorado River settlement

Navajo officials are celebrating the signing of legislation outlining a proposed Colorado River settlement that would ensure water rights.

7 hours ago

Associated Press

Lara Trump touts RNC changes and a 2024 presidential victory for Trump in North Carolina

GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — To a room full of Republicans from across North Carolina on Friday, former President Donald Trump railed against the Biden administration and vowed to win in the state for a third time — all over a speaker phone call after his son Eric Trump dialed him on stage. “I just want […]

7 hours ago

Associated Press

Nevada voter ID initiative can appear on 2024 ballot with enough signatures, state high court says

ELKO, Nev. (AP) — An initiative that would amend the Nevada Constitution to require that voters show photo identification at the polls can appear on the 2024 ballot as long as organizers collect enough signatures, the state Supreme Court ruled Friday. Organizers must gather just over 100,000 valid signatures by June 26 for it to […]

8 hours ago

Associated Press

Florida priest accused of biting woman who grabbed Holy Communion wafers during Mass

ST. CLOUD, Fla. (AP) — The Diocese of Orlando is defending a Catholic priest accused of biting a woman who tried to grab Holy Communion wafers during Mass at a central Florida church. The confrontation occurred Sunday afternoon at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in St. Cloud. Police have forwarded a report to prosecutors accusing […]

9 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s how to be worry-free when your A/C goes out in the middle of summer

PHOENIX -- As Arizona approaches another hot summer, Phoenix residents are likely to spend more time indoors.

...

COLLINS COMFORT MASTERS

Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

Lawsuits filed by Airbnb and 3 hosts over NYC’s short-term rental rules dismissed by judge