Airbnb has sued New York City demanding a law requiring the online home-sharing arranger to publish detailed monthly information about its participating hosts that is unconstitutional and exposes private information to unrestricted government and public scrutiny ,
The New York City Council passed legislation in July, and the mayor signed it into law Aug. 6. It requires that online, for a fee, short-term rental platforms like Airbnb have a list every month from each host, location, type of rental (a whole or partial unit), how many days it was rented, and money collected by the host and sent to the booking platform was paid.
Airbnb's lawsuit challenges the court to declare that these provisions violate parts of the US Constitution and the New York State Constitution, and the federal law on stored communications. The lawsuit alleges that information disclosed to the Office for Special Execution of the City could be used across city authorities and become part of the public records that could be obtained from any citizen.
Airbnb argues that "to intimidate the New Yorkers" give up homesharing. "The company blames the hotel industry, which allegedly has invested several million dollars in lobbying and is closely linked to the government through a former New York City employee.
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However, the lawsuit does not include a number that would help scale that 28,000 number only 116,000 hotel rooms in the five districts, according to a market report from 2017, based on Airbnb's figure, 350,000 Airbnb lists.
This battle is another close combat in a three-way war between Airbnb, city regulators and hotel operators, which has occurred in cities around the world. Originally, like Uber, Airbnb entered the markets largely without consultation with the regulators and allowed the hosts – whose members offered rentals – to create lists that did not comply with local rules.
Many cities, including New York City, allow house rentals (whether an apartment, condominium, home or miscellaneous) for 30 days or longer if the owner or landlord does not live on-site. Renting a room could require safety improvements, and some places had a rental tax on site long before Airbnb got around, even if it was hard to enforce.
As Airbnb grew into lists, hotel operators apparently felt the pressure to fight back. A report, funded by a group of hoteliers in 2016, said that 30% of Airbnb's revenue came from "illegal" hotels or from hosts hiring each unit in a building.
Many large cities have too few commercial hotel rooms and other rental objects flock of business travel and tourism. Airbnb reduces pressure and may reduce the maximum rates that hospitality operations can charge. Elsewhere, Airbnb offers affordable or even cheap alternatives to hotel and motel rooms.