A host in New York who rented her studio flat out to visitors via popular homestay network, AirBnB, has been fined for breaching city and state law. Although her lease might have permitted guests for up to 30 days, renting it out is another thing entirely. This move could be the first in a wave of crackdowns on the service, which many say has contributed to rising prices in city centres around the world.
AirBnB is a service that connects those with empty homes with those who want to rent them temporarily. It's a cheap way for people to stay in some of the world's biggest cities and it's an easy way for temporary landlords to make money. However, detractors say it helps drive up rent and purchase prices for property in city centres and standards are not necessarily maintained from property to property.
Tatiana Cames was fined $5,000 for renting out her apartment to various travellers in New York. She purchased a building for $2 million and then rented out five apartments within it via AirBnB. She was fined $1,000 per apartment, but the fines will increase to $1,500 per and eventually $5,000 per if she continues to do so. She has since removed the listings from AirBnB.
While her case has caused some concern among AirBnB landlords, it's not clear if this will become a trend in the city. As the Guardian points out, it seems unlikely that the city will have the time or resources to pursue every AirBnB renter within the city, but the ones they do are likely to be those running multi-apartment complexes, rather than those renting out their own homes temporarily.
Anyone renting out an apartment via AirBnB on a semi-permanent scale, is technically running a hotel without paying many of the associated costs, or jumping the many legislative hurdles associated with such a business.
AirBnB has stated that more than 96 per cent of its temporary landlords were renting their own homes and that it supported a “one-host one-home policy.”
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KitGuru Says: Do you guys make much use of AirBnB when travelling? It's a neat service for those looking to stay in the centre of busy and expensive cities, but it doesn't do those looking to live and work in those cities any favours.