OSE Opens Short-Term Rental Registration Portal
In the December 2022 issue of the Insider, we highlighted the Mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement (OSE) proposed rules to implement Local Law 18, the short-term rental registration law (see OSE Proposes Rules to Implement Short-Term Rental Registration Law). Generally, the law requires “hosts to register all units for rentals of 30 days or fewer with the city before Airbnb or any other listing platform may process payment from a guest.” Conversely, booking platforms such as Airbnb, VRBO, booking.com, and others, are prohibited from allowing transactions for unregistered short-term rentals.
The law took effect on March 6 after final rules for the program were published in February. The short-term rental registration portal is now open and can be found at https://strr-portal.ose.nyc.gov/s/. We’ll highlight some aspects of the program.
Rent-Regulated Units Are Ineligible
Short-term rental refers to renting out an apartment for any period shorter than 30 days. One cannot rent out an entire apartment or home to visitors for less than 30 days, even if you own or live in the building. This applies to all permanent residential buildings.
Short-term rentals are permitted only if the host is staying in the same unit or apartment as the guests, and the host has no more than two paying guests at a time. In other words, the person renting out the apartment on these sites must “maintain a common household” with the guests. Otherwise, the short-term rental is illegal.
In addition, tenants in New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) apartments, rent-controlled apartments, and rent-stabilized apartments are not eligible for short-term rental registration. OSE won’t approve application for registration of rent-regulated units, and OSE encourages applicants to find out what their rent regulation status is before applying and paying the non-refundable application fee.
Registration is non-refundable, costs $145, and lasts for four years. If an applicant’s right to occupy the dwelling will terminate in less than four years, OSE will set an expiration date that coincides with the same. Upon expiration, all bookings must cease immediately and pending reservations must be cancelled.
When individuals complete short-term rental registration applications, the owner of record for the building will be notified. According to OSE, the notification won’t include “any personal identifying information about the applicant.” However, the notification will include a reminder for adding buildings to the prohibited buildings list.
Prohibited Buildings List
The law also requires registration requests to be denied for buildings on a prohibited buildings list, which will be created by owners who notify OSE that short-term rentals are not allowed in their buildings. To be included on the prohibited buildings list, a building owner must certify that leases and other occupancy agreements for dwelling units within their buildings prohibit short-term rentals. The online application for placement on the prohibited buildings list can be found on the short-term registration portal.
If a current active short-term rental registration exists in a building that’s included on the prohibited buildings list after an owner registers a building, OSE may move to revoke that registration based on the prohibited buildings application. Revocation proceedings will occur before the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearing (OATH), and the registered host will be given notice and an opportunity to be heard.
The process to revoke is not automatic, and the building owner may be required to submit documentation to the administering agency and to appear at an OATH revocation proceeding to provide documentation that existing leases and other agreements prohibit short-term rentals in this building, and that failing to appear or provide sufficient evidence may result in the registration continuing despite the prohibited buildings list application.