New York law to crackdown on illegal lettings
New York law to crackdown on illegal lettingsA controversial new law has been passed in New York City that is designed to make it illegal for home owners to offer rentals of their property for less than 30 days – deeming such rentals as so called “transient hotels”.
The bill (S.6873/A.10008) is effective from 1 May 2011 and was signed into law by Governor David Patterson on 23 July 2010 – having previously been approved by the State Senate and New York Assembly. It was sponsored by State Senator Liz Krueger and State Assembly member Richard Gottfried.
In a press release announcing the signing of the bill, the New York Senate said the move “will put an end to the rampant spread of illegal hotels by clarifying ambiguities in state and city laws which made it impossible for government agencies to effectively crack down on offenders and protect residents.”
However, thousands of New Yorkers who depend on short-term lets and holiday rentals for their livelihood have been up in arms – saying the effects of this bill could be devastating. One such home owner, 60-year-old Sunny Chapman, is quoted as saying: “I have already faced a foreclosure (repossession) threat and was able to fend it off by doing vacation rentals. If I am not able to rent out the room to vacationers, I will most likely lose my home and end up living on the streets since I have no family.”
TripAdvisor.com CEO and founder, Stephen Kaufer, said: “For a significant and growing number of tourists who vacation in New York each year, vacation rental properties offer a cost-effective way to visit the city. As the nation strives to overcome the worst economic downturn in decades, families need to make every dollar count and not everyone who wishes to enjoy New York’s attractions can afford some of the more expensive accommodation options.
“These travellers and their families depend on vacation rental properties
, and their owners, to offer affordable alternatives, especially for travelers who wish to extend their stay by a week or more.”
But co-sponsor of the bill Senator Krueger said:“This is a real win-win for New York City residents and visitors. Residents will no longer see their apartment buildings overrun by transient tourists and visitors will no longer have to worry about arriving to find that their ‘hotel’ is actually an apartment building.”
The bill contains exceptions for roommates and boarders who live or rent in the unit with the permanent occupants, or while the permanent occupants are temporarily absent and nothing is being paid. The bill would also give a small number of buildings that have historically operated as hotels prior to the enactment of the Multiple Dwelling Law, or were legally operating as hotels under the pre-1961 zoning, time to comply with relevant building codes for transient use.
The bill also exempts “bed and breakfast” situations in which visitors rent a room while the permanent occupants are living in the apartment. And despite a provision that outlaws short-term rentals except where no money is exchanged, "somebody who is going away on vacation and once in a blue moon rents the apartment is probably not going to be affected by this," added Gottfried.
"But if you're making it a habit, you're also making it a nightmare for your neighbours. You have strangers coming and going at all hours, with noise, disruption, and real safety concerns,” added Gottfried, as quoted by USA Today earlier this month (July).
This story is brought to you by holidaylettings.co.uk
29 July 2010 Print this article