Dwellworks, Dwellworks Living, and Station Cities support clients with business travel and relocation-related accommodations needs in New York City and other markets nationwide. A recent series of court decisions impacting the enforcement of short-term rental laws in New York City has raised questions about housing availability for those planning to travel to NYC.
We can assure you: the new requirements and enforcement primarily affects leisure travelers booking on online platforms such as Airbnb, VRBO, and Booking.com.
As an information service to our corporate clients, corporate housing program administrators, and guests, however, we are sharing here a summary of the new regulations and their impact.
Q: What is the new ‘Airbnb’ regulation in New York City?
A: Effective September 5, 2023, after multiple lawsuits and countersuits, the City of New York is now enforcing its longstanding regulations on short-term housing. The regulations impact residents and landlords who rent out their homes/apartments on platforms such as Airbnb, VRBO, and Booking.com. Hosts who wish to rent their residences for stays of fewer than 30 days are now required to:
- Register their properties for short-term rental with the city (previously all compliance and review were done through the platforms themselves)
- Be present at the property during the guests’ stay
- Limit the number of guests to no more than 2
- Allow any guests full access to the property, not just single rooms
The city is responsible for enforcement of these requirements, which will take months to implement, but as noted, are effective immediately. The city’s position is that the platforms were not managing and qualifying short-term rental hosts with sufficient compliance. You can read more about the decision here.
Q: How does this impact the availability of short-term rentals via these platforms?
A: There are thousands of leisure travel hosts in New York City (estimates range from twenty to forty thousand). About 50% of the properties on Airbnb and other sites are hotels and not impacted by the enforcement of these new short-term rental laws. The remainder of the hosts must follow the registration/use laws noted above. The number of eligible short-term rental units on these sites has already dramatically decreased and is expected to continue to do so, as few hosts will meet all the city’s compliance requirements. Both hosts and platforms are subject to fines for non-compliance.
Q: How does this impact the availability of short-term rentals for corporate travel and relocation?
A: Corporate housing providers who work with Dwellworks Living are licensed both for stays of 30 days and longer and as hotels for shorter-term stays.
The rules intended to eliminate illegal short-term rentals will not impact corporate stays and require no additional compliance/registration on the part of our suppliers or Dwellworks Living.
Dwellworks Living works with over 50+ corporate housing operators in New York who manage an inventory of thousands of studios and 1, 2, and 3-bedroom suites to meet the needs of our clients on demand. Corporate housing agencies whose options include non-professionally managed short-term rentals may experience a decrease in the number of options they can make available to clients.
Q: Will the enforcement of short-term rental laws impact the availability of apartments in New York City overall?
A: Most analysts agree that the majority of New York City short-term rental hosts on Airbnb and similar platforms live in the same unit that they're renting out. The enforcement of short-term regulations will impact these residents’ ability to rent out their units on a short-term/transient basis but is not expected to materially increase the number of apartments available for rent in the city overall. Various advocates hold the position that short-term rentals have decreased the availability of long-term rentals, but most market reporting does not prove that out. Those landlords who own multiple units and are ‘professional’ short-term rental managers may choose not to comply with the city’s enforcement standards and opt instead to place their units back into the supply of long-term rentals, but it is unknown at this time what the impact of those decisions will be on rental availability and rental rates in the New York City market overall.