As part of what seems to be the NYC’s quest to drive Airbnb out of business, a new report from the city contends that nearly three quarters of the company’s listings are actually illegal. According to New York attorney general Eric T. Schneiderman, the report shows that more than half of the NYC rentals listed on Airbnb violate NYC zoning laws and that most of the so-called private rentals are in fact, commercially-run properties.
The report contradicts Airbnb’s public image of helping out the little guy by claiming that the site is mainly used by commercial operators – not private city residents looking to make a buck by renting out their homes. According to the findings, commercially owned and operated properties account for more than a third of the units listed on Airbnb. In fact, the report says that a group that makes up just six percent of Airbnb hosts have bought in the bulk of the site’s earnings in NYC since 2010, generating a whopping $168 million in revenue by running commercial units with multi-unit listings.
Although many may be quick to discount the findings as just the latest unreasonable attack in the city’s war against Airbnb, the company itself, which has just been valued at $10 billion, doesn’t exactly dispute the report.
“We need to move forward,” Airbnb spokesman Nick Papas said. “We need to work together on some sensible rules that stop bad actors and protect regular people who simply want to share the home in which they live.”
However, Papas did cast doubt on the accuracy of the reported 72% illegal properties listed on the site. “Every single home, apartment, co-op and living space in New York is subject to a myriad of rules, so it’s impossible to make this kind of blanket statement,” he said. “That kind of uncertainty and lack of clarity is exactly why we’re advocating for clear, fair rules for home sharing.”
Via NY Times
Lead image via Airbnb Facebook
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