Airbnb has been riddled with a number of controversies of late. The company essentially allows users around different cities to rent out portions of their houses for brief stays. However, the hotel industry has been objecting on this model and now, a NY judge has deemed the rent-out of an apartment through Airbnb illegal.
Nigel Warren is the person who rented out his apartment in NY through Airbnb. However, New York officials soon brought a case against him, citing that by renting out his apartment, he has violated the illegal hotel law enacted by the city back in 2010.
Warren fought back the charge, with Airbnb also siding with him. The original fine imposed on Warren was $7,000. During the case, Airbnb argued that Warren’s case should be taken as an exception since he didn’t mimic the hotels in any way while renting out his apartment.
However, the judge has now ruled against Warren, citing, “While breech of the condominium rules is not of itself a ground for sustaining this (notice), respondent was in breach (through Warren’s acts) and the existence of the rule against rental for transient, hotel, or motel purposes is evidence that the unit owners were to restrict their use to permanent occupation.”
Thankfully, the sum of fine has been trimmed down from $7,000 to $2,400. Airbnb is naturally unhappy with the verdict and stated, “There is universal agreement that occasional hosts like Nigel Warren were not the target of the 2010 law, but that agreement provides little comfort to the handful of people, like Nigel, who find themselves targeted by overzealous enforcement officials. It is time to fix this law and protect hosts who occasionally rent out their own homes. Eighty-seven percent of Airbnb hosts in New York list just a home they live in — they are average New Yorkers trying to make ends meet, not illegal hotels that should be subject to the 2010 law.”