The final chapter? Not by a long shot. In October of last year Governor Cuomo signed into law a long awaited bill that doubles down on fines for those advertising illegal listings on home-sharing websites such as Airbnb, VRBO, Homeaway and TurnKey (as per the 2010 NY State multi-dwelling law I touched on here). The law raises the fine to $7,500 for those advertising renting out their entire apartment or home. Although this law does not apply to Long Island, the signing of the bill into law was a disappointing move that will be sure to spread confusion regarding the legality of short term rentals throughout the state.
Despite this increase in punishment the law, that was backed mostly by New York City's hotel lobbyist's, has had little affect on the rental inventory of New York City. In fact, New Year's Eve saw a record number of bookings. According to the Daily News Airbnb projected 55,000 bookings on December 31st, up from the previous years total of 47,000.
WHAT THIS ALL MEANS
As I have previously stated, in spite of new laws and regulations Airbnb and websites similar to it are here to stay. New York City remains the world's leading city in terms of number of listings and actual bookings. Host's defiance of the new legislation indicate it's going to take strict enforcement in order for the law to have it's intended effect. In 2015, NYC Mayor De Blasio allocated $10M for enforcement of the laws regarding short term rentals but the current listing numbers show this influx of cash law has had little to no affect in policing illegal listings. A majority of those found to be operating illegally have been found due to complaints.
In regard to Long Island's short term rental market, the law's affect has been minimal. Limited legislation has been pursued on a county level, while most discussion and implementation of laws put on the books continue to be pursued on a town, village, and hamlet level.
FUTURE OF SHORT TERM RENTALS ON LONG ISLAND
I see the trend of legislation continuing on a town by town and village by village basis. It is my hope that each region will continue to take measured, thoughtful steps to make sure all in the community are comfortable with the short term rental listings in their area. This can be achieved through open dialogue and education regarding the thorough booking process sites like Airbnb, Home away, and VRBO currently utilize. Areas such as Bellport Village have taken thoughtful, measured steps and a future blog post that dive deep into the current state of affairs in towns and villages across the Long Island.
Craig Mannella is the owner/operator and founder of STAYAWAY Cleaning Services. After 7 years working in the cleaning and restoration industry, where he excelled in customer relations and satisfaction, he started his own cleaning company. Extensive training and industry experience along with time spent running a successful vacation rental listing lead to the creation of this blog.