Around 1,500 landlords in New York City have applied for a new “prohibited buildings” list, that would allow them to exclude tenants from participating in short-term rental businesses like Airbnb. Landlords who successfully apply for this list, which became open on March 6, would be able to pass on fines from illegal short-term rentals to the tenants that host them. This is meant to help crack down on the growing trend of tenants renting out their apartments in Airbnbs, which some say has contributed to the issue of a lack of affordable housing.
What is the Prohibited Buildings List?
The new prohibited buildings list is a list of buildings across New York City that landlords must apply to be on. Under Local Law 18, which was recently passed by the City Council, tenants could apply to be able to legally host short-term rentals in the city, if they follow certain rules. By applying to be on the prohibited buildings list, landlords can protect themselves from the potential legal consequences of an illegal short-term rental arrangement.
Why Does Local Law 18 Exist?
Local Law 18 was put into effect after a growing trend of landlords and tenants turning their apartments into short-term rental units, using programs like Airbnb. This led to a large number of apartments being used for short-term rentals rather than places people could stay long term. This, in turn, aggravated the existing housing shortage, driving up housing prices across the city.
When Can Tenants Host a Short-Term Rental?
Under Local Law 18, tenants can apply to be able to host a short-term rental in their apartment. Among other things, the law prevents someone from renting out their apartment for less than 30 days, and the tenant would need to remain in the unit for the entire time the renter stayed in the apartment. If a landlord is on the prohibited buildings list, they can also seek to prohibit having their apartment used for a short-term rental, and can pass down any fines to the offending tenant.
How Could This Affect You?
In the short term, the law primarily affects people who were hosting these short-term rental units, by forcing them to comply with regulations and limiting their ability to rent units out on a short-term basis. It also affects landlords who may object to having their apartments used in this way. In the long term, it could have a beneficial effect by lowering the demand for short-term rental units, thus making housing more affordable and available.
If you are in a dispute with your landlord and want to know more about protecting yourself, do not wait until it is too late. You should seek advice from an attorney experienced in handling landlord-tenant disputes, who can advise you on your rights and help you avoid the risk of eviction. Contact the skilled landlord-tenant attorneys at Hobson-Williams, P.C. Contact us online, toll-free (866) 825-1529 or (718) 210-4744 to discuss your rights and the solutions available to you.