Planning a trip to New York City? Airbnb might no longer be a viable lodging option for you in the Big Apple.
New regulations on short-term rentals went into effect last week, not only restricting how home-sharing platforms like Airbnb, VRBO, and others operate in the city but also essentially barring many hosts and guests.
From now on, short-term rentals are allowed only if the hosts register with the city. Hosts also have to actually be living in the apartment or house they're renting – and they must be present during a stay. And they can only have two guests, which means Airbnbs will no longer be an option for families or large groups.
Platforms like Airbnb and VRBO are not allowed to process bookings for short-term rentals that are not registered. The city had received more than 3,800 applications as of last week – and approved just under 300 of them, the Associated Press reported.
Already, the number of Airbnbs in New York City has shrunk, and that number could decrease even further as the city and the platforms themselves crack down on unregistered hosts.
The number of short-term rental listings has dropped by 70%, going from 22,434 in August to only 6,841 on Sept. 5 – the day the new regulations went into effect, according to Inside Airbnb, a housing advocacy group that tracks Airbnb’s presence in cities around the world.
Airbnb has called the regulations a “de facto ban on short-term rentals.” The company sued New York City in June, but the case was dismissed. Airbnb has not said whether it will appeal the decision.
So, what does this mean for Airbnb reservations in New York City?
Airbnb says it's canceling and refunding reservations at unregistered rentals from Dec. 2 onwards, but stays with check-ins on or before Dec. 1 will be honored to mitigate the impact on hosts and guests.
According to the Associated Press, Airbnb said it has stopped accepting new short-term reservations for any hosts who aren't registered or in the process of registering with the city. However, recent searches on Airbnb showed plenty of listings for two or more people still able to be booked beyond Sept. 5 – something that shouldn't be allowed under the new requirements.
Hosts are required to add their registration details to their Airbnb listing, but guests won't be penalized if they book and stay in an unregistered rental. Just note that your stay could be canceled if your Airbnb host is unable to register with the city.
New regulations that went into effect last week will severely limit the number of Airbnbs and other short-term rentals available in New York City – and essentially make Airbnbs no longer an option for families or groups.
It's unfortunate news for travelers, who have long turned to Airbnb and other home-sharing platforms as a way to avoid pricey hotel rooms and save on a trip to the Big Apple.