Williamsburg Has Most Airbnb Listings
According to a recently released study by Skift, a travel news and market data Web site for the travel industry, Williamsburg, with 1,694 rental listings in 2013, has posted more Airbnb listings than any other neighborhood in the city. Hell’s Kitchen and the Upper West Side came in second and third, respectively, with Bedford-Stuyvesant fourth at 1,024 listings, according to the report.
Airbnb was subpoenaed in November by state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who criticized the site for skirting the city’s roughly 15 percent hotel occupancy tax. The Attorney General’s office has stated that it’s more concerned with people who are not present when the rental takes place and those who have multiple listings on the site, as opposed to a user who’s renting a spare room.
Up to two-thirds of Airbnb rentals may be illegal, the Skift report claims, because they violate the short-term rental law forbidding house guests for less than 30 days if the owner isn’t present. Skift found that two-thirds of the listings that contain user reviews are for the “entire home/apartment” room type. The state Attorney General-initiated court proceedings against Airbnb are scheduled to begin in late March.