New York State has approved a bill that would ban users on sites like Airbnb from posting listings for short-term rentals lasting fewer than 30 days. Violators could be fined up to $7,500. Having passed in New York's house and senate, the bill now goes to Governor Andrew Cuomo. Supporters of the legislation—including landlords, housing regulators, and the hotel industry—say that Airbnb and sites like it are helping some users turn homes into what amounts to illegal hotels in violation of zoning laws and safety codes. Airbnb counters that the service promotes tourism and helps those with a room to share pay their bills.
If passed, the measure would be a major blow to the vacation-rental industry, not only because New York is one of its largest markets, but also because other municipalities might enact similar legislation.
For a deeper look at the legal issues involved, our own Arthur Frommer has the lowdown.