Traveling to NYC? You can expect to pay more than $170 per night for a cockroach infested hotel room in a bad neighbourhood. Or, you can rent a clean and decent apartment in a good neighbourhood for half that price. Well, you could until yesterday, at least.
A New York City judge has ruled that renting an apartment to anyone for less than 30 days is illegal and violates rental laws. This ruling directly attacks people that are renting out apartments on the popular AirBnB site.
How the Ruling Happened
A man by the name of Nigel Warren rented out his apartment to a woman for three days using AirBnB. Someone complained. Warren was then fined around $3000 for violating rental laws. Sound unfair? Well, it is, kind of. The city of New York claims that sites like AirBnB are taking business away from hotels - obviously, since hotels are allowed to charge ridiculous prices!
But, there's something else at play too. Those who own massive buildings are renting out many rooms. By turning those many rooms into temporary rentals, landlords are also collecting a fair amount of cash. This goes against what AirBnB stands for, and it's also a way to keep padding the pockets of slumlords. But, what about those people that just want to rent out an apartment for the night?
So Many Problems
It has been proven time and again that sites like AirBnB help to boost the economy. When people aren't spending every single cent on a hotel room, they are spending money in restaurants, shops, and on other things. Plus, the extra cash helps renters pay rent in a really pricey city.
Renting out an apartment for a night or two could bridge the gap between paying for electricity and paying for rent or food. Sites like AirBnB are for the better, not the other way around. Get with it, NYC. You are only hurting your own economy here!
The fact remains, though, as much as I hate to admit it, that an apartment is not owned by a renter. Most lease agreements make it very clear that an apartment cannot be rented out to anyone other than the person paying the rental bill each month. Unfair? Maybe; but that's the law. So, AirBnB users, here's what you have to do: try to get the law changed. I know, it's a big task, but it's the only way to really make a difference.
The Status Right Now
I just took a look, and New Yorkers don't seem to be too worried about the latest rental news. There are currently more than 1000 people willing to take the chance on using a site like AirBnB. I've rented brownstones in Brooklyn and plenty of apartments in Manhattan using this service, and it's highly recommended -- especially now.
Support renters that need some extra income, save some cash, and rent out an apartment for your next NYC stay. In the meantime, it's also a good idea to see what you can do about changing that pesky law.