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NYC Airbnb Hosts Fined for Illegal Rentals

Two New York City Airbnb hosts have been slapped with fines for listing illegal short-term rentals—making them the city's first individuals punished under a law signed last fall by New York Governer Andrew Cuomo.  

That measure made it illegal to rent a residence for fewer than 30 days. For violating the law, Tatiana Cames and Hank Freid now owe the city a combined $17,000.

It's worth noting that neither of the fined folks was renting out a place of primary residence. Cames is a licensed real estate broker who's charged with renting the units in a Brooklyn building she owns, while Freid, who says he plans to fight the fine, was allegedly listing some of the rooms in his Manhattan hotel on Airbnb and other similar sites.

At the moment, then, it appears that the city is going after those who own entire buildings, not the comparatively small-time Airbnb hosts who rent out their own rooms and apartments. 

But they could be next.

Many other localities, from New Orleans to Anaheim, California, have considered or enacted laws cracking down on short-term rentals. But New York City is by far one of the biggest and most profitable markets. How cases fare there could have a huge impact on Airbnb's future.