lighted Christmas trees in Rockefeller Center, NYC

NYC’s New Rental Regulations Create Pre-Holiday Chaos

It’s been two months since New York City officials began enforcing a new law restricting short-term and vacation rentals, and the situation has quickly turned into chaos.

Property owners in New York City must now register their properties with the Mayor’s office before being listed on platforms like Airbnb or VRBO. But it gets worse.

According to NBC New York, “Hosts must commit to being physically present in the home for the duration of the rental, sharing living quarters with their guest. More than two guests at a time are not allowed, either, meaning families are effectively barred.”

In response, Airbnb will allow previously booked short-term renters with a check-in of December 1st to complete their stay. Renters who booked dates in the city after December 1st will receive cancellations and refunds.

Airbnb’s global policy director, Theo Yedinsky, commented, “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.’”

Short-Term Rentals Turning Up on Craigslist as Families Deal with Rising Hotel Rates

As a result, unhappy property owners have begun to list their rentals on social media and unregulated platforms like Craigslist. However, without guaranteed quality or accurate advertising, renters can easily fall victim to rental scams and dangerous situations.

Short-term rental listings on Airbnb dropped 77% last month compared to June, while listings for 30 or more days jumped by 54%, according to Business Insider. The only way to get around NYC’s new short-term rental law is to offer stays of 30 days or more.

Airbnb officials told USA TODAY, “Visitors to New York City now have fewer accommodation options in fewer neighborhoods, hotels have increased their nightly rates, and, predictably, activity has gone underground with a myriad of unregistered listings popping up on unregulated third-party websites. As we enter the holiday season, these trends are expected to continue, making New York City less affordable for families visiting for the holidays.”

What Prompted the New Short-Term Rental Law in NYC?

The new rules aim to stop the “free-for-all” of property owners and locals offering their apartments to tourists and visitors on a nightly or weekly basis.

The city is also hoping to address complaints from residents about the scarcity of housing and their neighborhoods being taken over by tourists. Apartment owners have complained that their buildings now feel like a hotel with ongoing parties and random strangers walking around.

“Registration creates a clear path for hosts who follow the city’s longstanding laws and protects travelers from illegal and unsafe accommodations, while ending the proliferation of illegal short-term rentals,” says Christian Klossner, executive director of the city’s Office of Special Enforcement.

This article originally appeared on Wander With Alex. Photo credit: Alex Haney

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Scott And Julie McConkey

After 30 years, Scott and Julie McConkey left the corporate world for a life of travel and adventure. What started as a gap year became a second act, and they are now full-time travel bloggers!