OSE Proposes Rules to Implement Short-Term Rental Registration Law
Registration of short-term rentals takes effect in January.
Last year, the City Council voted to approve Int. 2309-A, which requires short-term rentals to register with the Mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement (OSE). The legislation became Local Law 18 of 2022 (LL18), and it requires hosts to register with the city before renting out their homes on a short-term basis for less than 30 days. It’s intended to prevent the listing of illegal short-term rentals on sites such as Airbnb. After the bill was passed, it was returned unsigned by the mayor in early 2022. Since Mayor Adams didn’t sign or veto the bill within 30 days, it became law.
In advance of LL18 going into effect on Jan. 9, 2023, OSE recently released a new set of proposed rules that reinforces the established law that renting out an entire apartment or other dwelling unit without the host present remains illegal. The full text of the proposed rules can be found at https://rules.cityofnewyork.us/rule/registration-of-short-term-rentals.
Under New York State’s Multiple Dwelling Law, it’s illegal to temporarily rent out a full apartment for fewer than 30 days if the owner or tenant isn’t present. This applies to all permanent residential buildings regardless of the number of units. Short-term rentals are permitted only if the host is staying in the same unit or apartment as the guests, and there are no more than two guests staying with the host.
The law draws a clear 30-day line that differentiates permanent from transient occupancy. By defining and banning transient occupancy for Class A residential apartments, the law prevents owners and tenants from entering into short-term tenancies with out-of-town guests who are prone to create noise, safety, and security hazards in areas zoned for residential communities. And, due to a state law passed in 2016, it’s illegal to advertise an apartment in a Class A multiple dwelling for rent for 30 days or less.
We’ll go over some highlights of the new registration system the OSE is proposing. With this system, the office will issue a registration number before an applicant who wants to rent out a room in a Class A dwelling for less than 30 consecutive days will be permitted to rent out rooms. And booking platforms will need to verify the registration number of any accommodation before listing it on their service.
Application and Approval Procedures
To register a unit for short-term rentals, OSE is requiring applicants to file an online application. As part of the application process, applicants will be required to submit diagrams of their apartments as well as proof that their listings are permanent residences. An applicant will need to provide the following information as part of the application for short-term rental registration:
- Full legal name;
- Current phone number;
- Full physical address where short-term rentals will take place, including street number, street name, ZIP code, borough, and unit number where there’s more than one dwelling unit in the building;
- An email address that will be used to receive communication from OSE;
- Type of dwelling unit;
- The full legal name of all permanent occupants of the dwelling unit and the nature of their relationship to the applicant;
- A diagram of the dwelling unit, that includes: (1) all rooms in the unit; (2) locations of fire extinguishers; (3) normal and emergency exit routes from the unit to the building that contains the unit; and (4) which room or rooms will be used to house short-term lodgers;
- The uniform resource locator or listing identifier and the associated booking service name for all existing listings of the dwelling unit;
- The month and year the applicant began residing in the dwelling unit; and
- Whether the applicant is a tenant or owner of the dwelling unit.
In addition, tenant applicants are required to submit a copy of the lease and certify an understanding of the city's multiple dwelling laws. The tenant applicant additionally will certify that they are not prohibited by the terms of a lease or other agreement from applying for a short-term rental registration for the dwelling unit and from subsequently acting as host for short-term rentals within the apartment.
OSE will vet the applicants and, upon receipt of a completed application, alert building owners about registrations within their buildings. OSE will also alert owners on how they can apply to get on a list of buildings that prohibit short-term rentals. OSE says this notification won’t include any additional personal identifying information about the applicant.
Eligibility of Rent-Regulated Units
OSE has made it clear that New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) apartments, rent-controlled apartments, and rent-stabilized apartments are not eligible for short-term rental registration.
Prohibited Buildings List
OSE will create and maintain a prohibited buildings list, which will contain the address of each building whose owner has notified the agency that no short-term rental of any dwelling unit within the building is permitted. To be added to this list a building owner or manager must submit an online application to OSE. When submitting the application, the owner or manager must provide:
- The name of a natural person making the application;
- A working phone number for the applicant;
- An email address for the applicant;
- The address of the building the applicant seeks to add to the list;
- An explanation of the relationship between the owner and the applicant; and
- Any proof or documentation requested by the administering agency to substantiate the request where the administering agency has cause to require further verification.
The applicant also must certify that leases and other occupancy agreements for dwelling units within the building ban short-term rentals. OSE will publish the list of prohibited buildings on the city’s open data website. And the list will be updated in as close to real time as practicable and published in the same location.
Although LL18 goes into effect on Jan. 9, 2023, the penalties can start being assessed from May 9, 2023. Under the new rules, a host’s failure to comply with the short-term rental registration rules could result in fines up to $5,000. And Airbnb and other platforms that are required to verify the rental on its systems could be on the hook for a $1,500 fine per violation.
According to OSE, the penalties may be imposed and recovered in a proceeding before the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings or a court of competent jurisdiction. And notices of violation, administrative summonses, and appearance tickets for violations may be issued by officers and employees of OSE or other city agencies designated by OSE.