Through home-sharing sites like Airbnb, most people are looking to make a few extra bucks by renting out their unused apartments or condos. But using these platforms as a side hustle in New York may be more convoluted than you would expect.
The Law: SB S6340A
In 2016, a law was passed in New York that dictates the prohibition of advertisements involving the short-term rental (for fewer than 30 days) of apartments and condos in multi-unit permanent residency buildings. While the act of renting out unoccupied apartments for fewer than 30 days has technically been illegal since 2010, the new provision has made it unlawful to directly or implicitly advertise such rentals - a loophole that many renters chose to exploit. The law has since hindered the growth of New York City rentals via online home-sharing sites like Airbnb, HomeAway, and similar platforms. Those who violate the law will be subjected to costly fines: $1,000 for a first violation, $5,000 for the second, and $7,500 for the third.
Many assumed the law wouldn't be strictly enforced until New York City police recently proved otherwise. In late 2018, local law enforcement raided the Far West Side Atelier condominiums and ultimately cited nearly two dozen violations to owners who were actively renting out apartments on Airbnb. The raid has been deemed one of the largest crackdowns of short-term rentals to date.
Apparently, condo owners in the 500-unit building were becoming increasingly annoyed with tourists. So much so that they banded together to document the presence of short-term renters and compiled a list of approximately 100 apartments they felt were being illegally rented to send to the city. It turns out a couple of condo board members were actively renting to consumers, including the condo board president, Daniel Neiditch. Occupants are calling for his resignation.
Don't Let It Happen To You
Remember, it was other residents who sparked the idea of a raid by tipping off authorities about the rentals. They are the ones who initially noticed unfamiliar faces coming in and out of specific apartments, and they are the ones who took it upon themselves to document potential illegal activity. Neighboring residents did most of the legwork for the authorities. Occupants at Far West Side Atelier aren't the first to do this and probably won't be the last.
Also, it's important to note that aside from the heavy fines aforementioned, breaking the law can put you at risk of eviction. And that's a Pandora's box of legal issues you definitely don't want to open.
You are allowed, however, to have visitors stay at your place to sleep while they're in town as long as you aren't breaking any residency rules. But if you are already in trouble or have any questions about regulations, you should contact an attorney.
Contact The Law Offices Of Melvin Monachan, PLLC
We've helped numerous people tied up in complex real estate disputes overcome these issues with our knowledge and expertise. Let us help you find a practical solution to your real estate issues. Contact the Law Offices of Melvin Monachan, PLLC, online or give us a call at (516) 714-5763.