Many Airbnb users and NYC tourists with bookings in the Big Apple this Christmas are scrambling to find new accommodations.
Airbnb VS City’s New Requirements
According to the Associated Press, the company announced plans to cancel and refund bookings for stays after Dec. 1, after long-planned regulations aimed at curbing illegal short-term rentals in the city went into effect on Sept. 5.
The regulations, which caused an uproar among travelers and short-term rental owners, require hosts to be present for stays of less than 30 days, with no more than two people staying in a dwelling at a time. Hosts must also register and get approval from the city — or both hosts and booking sites may be subject to hefty fines.
The travel industry website Skift estimates Airbnb short-term listings in New York City dropped 77% from June 4 to Sept. 10, likely sending many searching for new accommodations.
The law does not ban short-term rentals, but it places restrictions that could be deal breakers for some hosts.
The law is expected to remove about 4,000 short-term rentals from the market. To put that into perspective, there were about 23,000 active listings on sites like Airbnb and Vrbo before the law went into effect.
In fact, between August 4 and September 5, 15,000 short-term listings in New York disappeared from Airbnb, according to Wired citing Airbnb listings tracker Inside Airbnb.
Hosts that meet the new requirements must apply for a permit from the city. As of Aug. 28, about 3,250 hosts had applied for registrations. The city had approved just 257.
So, what’s the best alternative?
Average room rates at hotels are among the country’s highest at $235 a night — and those could get a lot higher with a double whammy of changes over the last couple of years.
The city is expected to add 10,000 new hotel units by the end of the year, more than enough to make up for the loss of Airbnbs, say one source.
Other sources say there will not be enough hotels because of permitting issues the City causes with hotels.
“New laws on short-term rentals in NYC may discourage budget travelers who usually turn to platforms like Airbnb for affordable stays,” Steve Turk, founder of Turk Hospitality, said.
If New York is your dream travel destination, Turk says you’ll have to be willing to pay for more expensive stays or settle for staying at home.
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