I first used an AirBnB stay in May 2012, and since then have stayed in AirBnB properties in five cities. Often times an AirBnB provides a helpful (and cheaper) alternative to staying in hotels, especially if you are traveling with family. One of my best travel stays, in fact, was at a 2-bedroom AirBnB loft apartment that I got for $90 a night.
But even though AirBnB renters may face some risks and inconveniences that come with staying in someone else’s house vs. a hotel, AirBnB landlords (or “hosts”) arguably can get in bigger trouble. A New York judge just ruled that AirBnB is illegal for stays less than 30 days. The landlord in question was fined $2,400 (down from an initial judgment of $7,000 in fines).
This isn’t limited to New York. According to the CNET article:
As Airbnb continues to shake things up for the hotel industry, it’s increasingly running into issues with the law, particularly in areas where the law is not clear cut. It’s not just in New York — officials in the company’s hometown of San Francisco are concerned about property owners potentially using its service to get around local tenant protections and land use codes.
I am considering taking my parents to a trip to the East Coast next year, and had planned to stay in AirBnB apartments. But now I am a little hesitant to stay in AirBnB in Manhattan. I don’t want to deliberately break the law… Furthermore, this ruling might make many AirBnB landlords gun-shy and take down their postings.