Proponents of the new law have offered several justifications for its passage. For instance, some argue that the rentals fail to generate sufficient tax revenue especially when compared to New York City hotels. Meanwhile, Melissa Grace, the spokeswoman for Mayor de Blasio, stated “… this illegal activity takes permanent housing off the market, puts people at risk and damages neighborhoods.”
Recently, New York City has stepped up its enforcement efforts on landlords and leaseholders found to have rented apartments for periods of less than 30 days. Since January 31, 2015, over 15 entities have been hit with approximately 128 violations, resulting in over $232,000 in proposed fines for these entities alone. In some instances, a leaseholder must also worry about being ejected from their own rental property. In a recent case decided in the New York County Supreme Court, the Court held a tenant who sublet her apartment violated “…statutory law prohibiting short-term sublets.” The ruling allowed the landlord to eject the tenant from the rental property.
New York City does not appear to be slowing down on their enforcement of the “Anti-Airbnb” law. In fact, Mayor de Blasio recently approved an additional $2.9 million of funding aimed towards enforcing the law over the next 2 fiscal years. The City’s Office of Special Enforcement, which is devoted to inspecting and fining landlords and leaseholders who are renting out entire apartments for fewer than 30 days, will be adding 16 staffers to the already 32-member team. So, if you are a tenant hosting Airbnb guests in New York City ensure you are complying with the “Anti-Airbnb” law or you might be using the app to find your new place.
 Moskowitz v. Hickey, 2018 WL 2136440 (N.Y.Sup.), 2018 N.Y. Slip Op. 30873(U) (Trial Order)
This article was written by Richard Ripley who is a summer intern with Moulinos & Associates and is currently a law student at Brooklyn Law School.