Tags: rentals | illegal | Schneiderman | New York

New York's Schneiderman Says 60 Percent of Airbnb NYC Rentals Illegal

Monday, 21 Apr 2014 03:08 PM

The majority of Airbnb Inc. rentals recently offered in New York City appeared to be illegal, the state attorney general’s office said amid a probe of whether the home-sharing service is complying with the law and collecting taxes.

More than 60 percent of the 19,522 listings available through the service in the city as of Jan. 31 offered rental of an “entire apartment” for periods of less than 30 days, according to an affidavit the attorney general’s office said it filed today with the state court in Albany. The filing couldn’t immediately be confirmed in court records.

Under New York law, residents can rent only part of homes they are sharing, not the entire property, for a period of less than 30 days, according to the attorney general’s office.

Used throughout the world in cities including Paris, Tokyo and Mexico City, Airbnb has been challenging a probe by the state into whether property managers or brokers have been using the service to skirt the law and avoid collecting or paying lodging taxes.

The San Francisco-based online service, said to have been valued at $10 billion in a financing deal with TPG Capital, said on its website yesterday that a subpoena by the attorney general for company records has “demanded personal information about thousands of New Yorkers.”

The company said it will oppose the attorney general’s request in arguments tomorrow in Albany state court after failing to resolve the dispute through negotiations. Earlier this month, the company said it favored changes to state law that would allow it to collect more than $21 million in taxes.

‘Fight Innovation’

“Taking on an attorney general who is determined to fight innovation and attack regular people isn’t easy and we won’t succeed without standing together,” David Hantman, the company’s head of global policy, said on the website. “We’ll do everything we can to keep you informed about this case and our work to fix the bad law that made it possible.”

In a statement today, a spokesman for Eric Schneiderman, Matt Mittenthal, said that Airbnb has resorted to “name calling and public relations to confuse the issue.”

“Airbnb is simply looking out for its bottom line at the expense of a law that protects quality of life for building residents and safety for tourists,” he said.

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The majority of Airbnb Inc. rentals recently offered in New York City appeared to be illegal, the state attorney general's office said amid a probe of whether the home-sharing service is complying with the law and collecting taxes.
rentals, illegal, Schneiderman, New York
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2014-08-21
Monday, 21 Apr 2014 03:08 PM
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