Judge Grants Injunction Against Airbnb Disclosure Law

A Manhattan judge recently blocked new legislation that required Airbnb to turn over detailed data about their hosts. The law, which was set to take effect in February 2019, would have provided the Mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement with the names and addresses of hosts, the type of dwellings being rented, the frequency of rentals, the rental income, and, in some cases, the account name and number where hosts receive their rental fees.

Airbnb and listing site HomeAway filed a lawsuit claiming that the bill was unconstitutional and would hurt New Yorkers who use the platform as a way of earning extra income. The companies asked for and were granted an injunction. The judge called the legislation a violation of the guarantee against illegal searches and seizures in the Fourth Amendment. “The city has not cited any decision suggesting that the governmental appropriation of private business records on such a scale, unsupported by individualized suspicion or any tailored justification, qualifies as a reasonable search and seizure,” wrote Judge Engelmayer. The injunction will remain in effect until the lawsuit is resolved.