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Airbnb proposes new rules in New York in face of legislation

The short-term rental service unveils plan to blunt criticism as bill that could fine its landlords sits on Gov. Andrew Cuomo's desk.


(Carl Court/Getty Images)

Carl Court, Getty Images

Airbnb doesn't want to get squeezed out of New York.

The short-term home rental platform unveiled on Wednesday a five-point voluntary plan aimed at blunting criticism it's contributing to a housing shortage in the Big Apple.

The centerpiece of Airbnb's proposal would limit people to renting only one home in New York's five boroughs in order to ensure "home-sharing does not remove permanent housing from the rental market." That would prevent landlords from using multiple apartments as short-term rental properties.

The provision will go into effect on November 1 and makes good on a community compact Airbnb issued a year ago vowing, among other things, to prevent people from listing properties other than permanent residences.

Airbnb's New York plan would also require the creation of a registration system for rental hosts, require insurance and a neighbor complaint hotline, and authorize Airbnb to collect taxes on the hosts behalf. In its op-ed piece, Airbnb proposed the taxes be "explicitly dedicated to tenant protection and affordable housing."

The plan, published in the New York Daily News, comes as New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo considers a bill that would fine people renting entire homes for less than 30 days as much as $7,500 in some cases. The proposed law wouldn't affect short-term listings of private or shared rooms.

The governor's office didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.