Earlier this year, the New York State Assembly and Senate passed Assembly Bill 8704-C which, if signed into law, would amend the state’s Multiple Dwelling Law and New York City Administrative Code to make it “unlawful to advertise occupancy or use” of accommodations that cannot lawfully be rented out for less than 30-day periods”. This bill would subject parties to draconian fines that would lead to financial duress for our host community in New York.
In a letter to New York State leaders yesterday, Airbnb’s General Counsel outlined the potential legal action Airbnb would be forced to take should the law be signed into law. The letter makes clear that we believe that there is a path to address the policy objectives desired, including addressing unlicensed commercial activity. We also provided data in the letter adding detail to the data we shared earlier this summer at the borough level and that made clear that 96 percent of the hosts on the Airbnb platform in New York City have only one entire home listing.
“As this unlawful Bill would impose real harm on our community, out of respect for the process and to inform your considerations, we want to formally notify the State that if it is signed into law by Governor Cuomo, Airbnb would have no choice but to immediately file suit against the State of New York and ask a court to declare the statute invalid and unenforceable as well as to award any damages and fees as appropriate. In making such a formal notification, Airbnb wants to be clear that it does so more in sadness than in anger, as the company believes that there are clearly available lawful alternative legislative options to meet legitimate policy objectives while still protecting the right of everyday New Yorkers to share the homes they live in order to help make ends meet.”
The entire letter can be found here. We remain committed to working with New York policymakers on a sensible solution that allows everyday people to share their homes in order to make ends meet and will continue to provide updates in the coming months.