Report Finds More Than Half of NYC’s Airbnb Listings in 2015 Were Illegal; Airbnb Responds
Following a report that found that over half of Airbnb listings in New York City were illegal, Airbnb has released its own numbers. The report was issued by Housing Conservation Coordinators and MFY Legal Services. It found that 55 percent or almost 30,000 of the more than 51,000 Airbnb listings are for the entire apartment in apparent violation of New York State law and 30 percent were rented for over a third of the year. The New York State Multiple Dwelling Law prohibits the renting out of apartments within buildings with three or more units for less than 30 days, unless the owner or a family member is present. Recently, the State Legislature passed a bill that would fine Airbnb users who post such listings up to $7,500, and it’s awaiting a final signature from the governor.
Airbnb responded with a memo as part of Airbnb’s Community Compact, wherein the website regularly reports figures about its host community in NYC. According to Airbnb, from June 1, 2015, through June 1, 2016, 96 percent of hosts who share an entire home on the site have only one home listed. The memo also found that the median number of nights an apartment is occupied by Airbnb guests in a year is 47.
Airbnb says it is rallying against hosts with multiple home shares and removed 2,233 listings from the site over the course of the year. The memo notes, “If we find listings that do not reflect our vision for our community, we take action by removing them from our platform.” The majority of the illegal apartment shares were in Manhattan, with 592 listings removed from Midtown, and 993 from the rest of the borough.
Airbnb’s memo also noted the median annual earnings for Airbnb hosts is $5,474 and the annual earnings for Airbnb hosts in Midtown are the highest, coming in at $8,286.