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Anti-BNB coalition in NYC

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Hvr

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Actually they do have a point. Apartments used for holiday rentals are no longer available for locals to live in and as highlighted the local area rents have risen.

Also, tourists are often louder and more disruptive than permanent residents. If you lived in an apartment building where a vacant apartment was being used as a hotel would you be happy when your 'quiet enjoyment' of your property was disrupted?

Finally, the protesters aren't asking for new laws, just for existing ones to be enforced.
 

harvyk

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I suppose it very much so depends on how an AirBNB rental is been used. If it's a case of a person is happy to have random strangers living with them for short periods of time, or alternatively a person whom is traveling themselves for a longer period then I don't see this complaint as valid. However if an apartment has been brought or rented for the sole purpose of renting it out on AirBNB (which is what I think the fuss is about) then I would be very surprised if there wasn't some sort of rules against that.

All that said, people renting out their homes to holiday makers is something which has been going on for many many years, well before even the internet. It's just sites like AirBNB have made that process easier to do.
 

burmans

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Actually they do have a point. Apartments used for holiday rentals are no longer available for locals to live in and as highlighted the local area rents have risen.
Conversely AirBnB helps keep the average cost of tourist accomodation down. All accomodation for tourists in any city means buildings/apartment not available for locals, the ultimate extension to this theory would mean not allowing tourists at all. Personally I think tourists/locals can coexist and there are plenty of examples of this around the world.

Also, tourists are often louder and more disruptive than permanent residents. If you lived in an apartment building where a vacant apartment was being used as a hotel would you be happy when your 'quiet enjoyment' of your property was disrupted?
Living in the middle of a city you probably share the space with many loud residents, there are more likely to be local restaurants/bars/etc. Would I like it, perhaps the answer to this is that if I lived in the inner city I would expect this as part of the package of living where I live rather than being a NIMBY. If you really want peace and quiet, live in the country.

This question of noisy tourists is one that many popular places have to deal with, I think there are better ways to deal with it than banning tourists.

Finally, the protesters aren't asking for new laws, just for existing ones to be enforced.
Yes, I understand. But unlike some I dont believe just because the laws are their that they are right. I think if you search you would find there are many states in America with some very strange laws on their books, thank God some of these are not enforced.
 

Hvr

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All good points but...

Of course living in the middle of the city means noise etc. I've lived in high density housing and because the residents understood we all needed to cooperate to ensure it was suitable for residential use it was quite pleasant. However, there are places where short term rentals cause major issues with being party places to the detriment of permanent residents. Whilst not necessarily tourists, people using short term rentals for parties often do so because they know it would be forbidden in their own apartment building.

Also people on a short term rental really don't care about noise they make because they'll be gone in a day or two and another group of party people will be there for a few more days continuing the disruption and adversely affecting the permanent residents. Also there are often issues with car parking, vandalism and harassment of people complaining about their loss of sleep etc.

Loud residents can be dealt with albeit slowly. With a constant turnover you often need to start the process every time there is a change of tenant. Dealing with an absentee landlord is possible but sometimes takes even longer than dealing with tenants.

Have a look at this site to see some more about how it affects Australians. Party flats ban overturned - FLAT CHAT : FLAT CHAT

Whilst it is probable that the majority of AirBnB tenants are decent, quiet and pleasant it doesn't mean that there aren't problems that need to be addressed.
 

harvyk

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This question of noisy tourists is one that many popular places have to deal with, I think there are better ways to deal with it than banning tourists.
I didn't see it so much banning tourists as I read it as banning "residential" places been brought and then rented out very short term as a business.
 

burmans

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Whilst it is probable that the majority of AirBnB tenants are decent, quiet and pleasant it doesn't mean that there aren't problems that need to be addressed.
And dont get me wrong, I agree there is a problem to be dealt with.

But in my opinion all good laws target the bad whilst still allowing the good rather than taking a fundamentalist view (e.g. all short term leasing is bad).

I agree this is an issue that needs to be addressed (not only in New York), I just dont feel that banning all short term rentals in apartment buildings (which is what the New York legislation does, albeit ineffectively) is the answer. Additional licensing, significant bonds that short term tenants can lose or other restrictions are all alternative solutions.
 

drron

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And dont get me wrong, I agree there is a problem to be dealt with.

But in my opinion all good laws target the bad whilst still allowing the good rather than taking a fundamentalist view (e.g. all short term leasing is bad).

I agree this is an issue that needs to be addressed (not only in New York), I just dont feel that banning all short term rentals in apartment buildings (which is what the New York legislation does, albeit ineffectively) is the answer. Additional licensing, significant bonds that short term tenants can lose or other restrictions are all alternative solutions.
They don't ban all short term rentals.If the apartment block is a condominium it is legal to rent out that apartment.
However if the building is a Co-op to lease an apartment you have to be approved by the co-op board even if you are going to rent for a year or more.These buildings make up the majority of NYC apartments and these are the ones it is illegal to rent short term.
 

anat0l

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Airbnb basically saved my hide for my first week in my new home here. It is relatively popular to use Airbnb here as hotelling is rather scarce and that is further compounded by the cost; even hostels are in short supply. Many sometimes go month to month on Airbnb here and alleviating part of the accommodation crisis here (for both tourists and residents).

Of course, there are several other websites which also can achieve the same thing, i.e. matching people who want to live here with those willing to let out a room or entire apartment. Airbnb tends to veer towards tourists and rather short term rentals (especially rentals where one is absent due to vacation), whereas other websites are more for longer term arrangements (e.g. colocating / flatsharing for months). Airbnb particularly charges a fee which it collects, which probably adds to the ire of the NYC parties concerned in this disagreement, i.e. it is a "clear" front for bona fide second rate room rental, as it were. Had it been simply someone on Craigslist putting out they have a room available, someone responding and then their coming to a "gentlemen's agreement" to terms of engagement (including payment, if any), there would probably not be many eyelids batted. I bet that has already been happening for yonks; naturally, though, Craigslist doesn't earn a cent in that engagement.

I'm surprised how underhanded some people can be in renting out their squalid place for Airbnb rentals. In NYC I'm not sure how one combats bedbugs continuously (indeed, various chain hotels of high repute have been caught out with a bedbug infestation problem at least once, and I definitely check for the signs of them when staying in NYC or any known bedbug area). Over here, people may have simple places but they seem to take a lot more pride in their rented place. Similarly, it would pay one who is renting to be respectful of the place, know the rules of the area and leave the place in as good a condition as it was rented to them. You'd think a bit of decency isn't much to ask for and goes a long way.

Why do rents increase when Airbnb rentals become common? Unless you have people who are simply buying up whole blocks of apartments with no intention of living there and only renting them out through Airbnb, that would be a big issue. Same as someone who say has rented in a place for a long time, then decides not to live there and instead put it up on Airbnb and live somewhere else. That would be rather unfair and I can understand how that becomes a pressure. But someone who owns a place and lives there, who decides to let a spare room (or just the couch) or what not through Airbnb should not have a marked effect on rental prices.

As for the problems with noisy tenants etc. I don't think that can necessarily just be pinned on Airbnb. It would be like saying that violent video games has a marked effect on the propensity of youths growing up to murder, abuse or other sorts of delinquency. (You may have your own opinion on that, fair enough). The difference is that a hotel with proper licences for people to stay at the property would have more relative powers (under the law) to control those who breach acceptable boundaries or rules.

Finally, though - if it is the law then it is the law, and there's little you can do about it. If NYC has banned it then so be it, so the real issue is simply the speed and degree of enforcement and to what degree can Airbnb still "slip under the radar" or will a similar system simply manifest itself ('underground', if you will) through another means, e.g. Craigslist. What stiffer measures the city can adopt to enforce that law would be interesting to see.

NYC I would not think has any issues with a "tourist problem", i.e. the tourism industry is stable enough that banning Airbnb (if you will) and thus possibly keeping the range of affordable tourist accommodation at some arms' lengths will not have a severely detrimental effect overall to NYC because so many people will visit the place anyway and they will end up paying a premium because everyone else will. Therefore, the city is not concerned at all about the effect of tourism and is justly more concerned with protecting the local / resident accommodation market and affordable housing.
 

burmans

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They don't ban all short term rentals.If the apartment block is a condominium it is legal to rent out that apartment.
However if the building is a Co-op to lease an apartment you have to be approved by the co-op board even if you are going to rent for a year or more.These buildings make up the majority of NYC apartments and these are the ones it is illegal to rent short term.
Would be interested to understand why you believe there is a distinction between condos and co-ops. The New York Multiple Dwelling Law prohibits apartment rentals of less than 30 days unless a permanent occupant of the apartment is present. Having actually just read the law it seems pretty wide ranging and the terms condomium and co-op are not defined. All all the legal references I've read suggest condos are also covered. Not sure what point you are trying to make in your second sentence, its the New York Multiple Dwelling Law which makes it "illegal", of course individual co-ops may have bylaws but its the NYC Multiple Dwelling Law which give this (supposed) teeth for legal enforcement.
 

drron

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Having discussed it with a NYC realtor that is the practical situation.Coops can set a resolution allowing short term rentals.This is how you have apartment hotels in NYC.
To get anything past a coop board is impossible.
 

dk4

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To use Australian terms; "condominiums" are similar to "strata" buildings, and "co-ops" are similar to "company title" buildings: the key difference is ownership structure and what is physically owned by whom and how, in a multiple unit dwellings.
 

burmans

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Yes I understand the difference in how condominiums vs co-ops run, but the actual law does not make that differentiation, and the explanation given by the senator who introduced the laws does not make that distinction

Answers for New Yorkers Concerned or Confused About the Illegal Hotel Law | New York State Senate

I also understand that coops can more easily change their by-laws but if by-laws contradict the state law the state law will always triumph.
The actual law (as below) specifically includes apartment hotels in its definition of Class A multiple dwellings.

http://www.nyc.gov/html/dob/downloads/pdf/NYS_chapter_225.pdf

In fact reading the senators comments it's specifically people seeking to find a way around the hotel laws, e.g. these apartment hotels, they were specifically trying to control with the legislation, getting individual AirBNB lettings was just a by-product.
 

drron

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Though if you read Trip Advisor on NYC you will see the experts advising using apartment hotels but not single units through any of the known online agents.
The apartment hotels that the senator was attacking are those promoted by shady folks and are really just a few apartments out of the whole block.
So when we used to go to NYC regularly we could not stay in our son's apartment if he was away as his was a co op.However we did stay at his inlaw's apartment which was a condominium.We still had to have permission but apart from being submitted 3 months before,the stay was a formality.All the staff in the building knew we were coming and as a photograph was submitted knew who was walking into the building.

PS a few years ago it was Woohoo hotels that were the illegal apartment hotels.The name should have given it away.
 

burmans

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Though if you read Trip Advisor on NYC you will see the experts advising using apartment hotels but not single units through any of the known online agents.
The apartment hotels that the senator was attacking are those promoted by shady folks and are really just a few apartments out of the whole block.
So when we used to go to NYC regularly we could not stay in our son's apartment if he was away as his was a co op.However we did stay at his inlaw's apartment which was a condominium.We still had to have permission but apart from being submitted 3 months before,the stay was a formality.All the staff in the building knew we were coming and as a photograph was submitted knew who was walking into the building.

PS a few years ago it was Woohoo hotels that were the illegal apartment hotels.The name should have given it away.
Yes, I dont doubt that as far as enforcement goes there are certain parties that officials are more keen to enforce the regulations on. Cynically you might suggest that for some (regulators) this is about taxes/fees, i.e. if people are paying the state hotel/income tax they are more likely to be left alone, whereas the AirBNB people are likely to be regarded as income that is being missed out on.

Incidentally from what I have read I think "family" is a bit of a loophole, the law does allow specifically occupation by a family (but without a definition of what a family is), so staying at an in-laws apartment is interpreted by many as within the law (though not necessarily allowed by the apartment by-laws). Some AirBNB renters take a liberal view of family which is made somewhat possible given the lack of legal definition.
 

dk4

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... whereas the AirBNB people are likely to be regarded as income that is being missed out on.
Depends on the state, obviously in New York where they are trying to stop Airbnb, there is little/no communication.

However, in other states, which embrace the Airbnb business model, Airbnb works closely with officials/regulators: In Oregon (for example) Airbnb works directly with some local as well as state and federal agencies to collect many of the appropriate taxes automatically!
 

drron

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Depends on the state, obviously in New York where they are trying to stop Airbnb, there is little/no communication.

However, in other states, which embrace the Airbnb business model, Airbnb works closely with officials/regulators: In Oregon (for example) Airbnb works directly with some local as well as state and federal agencies to collect all the appropriate taxes automatically!
This has been going on for many years before Airbnb existed.Enforcement has been hit and miss but many renters have come back to their rented apartment to find their belongings on the street and locks changed.It happened to Derryn Hinch a few years back.
 

burmans

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Depends on the state, obviously in New York where they are trying to stop Airbnb, there is little/no communication.

However, in other states, which embrace the Airbnb business model, Airbnb works closely with officials/regulators: In Oregon (for example) Airbnb works directly with some local as well as state and federal agencies to collect many of the appropriate taxes automatically!
Well I was talking about NYC because its the title of the thread. But yes, I'm a fan of the concept of working with local/state authorities where the local/state authorities are prepared to recognise this is a phenomenom which is here to stay. Apart from the tax angle, it would also seem easier to enforce other regulations (e.g. safety) if you dont try and drive this activity underground. NYC always has had a market for short term accomodation, legal or not and in my view always will, particular these days when more and more people have a taste for this sort of travel.
 
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