Proposed Regulation for Short-Term Rentals in NYC: A Gleam of Hope for Tourists and Small Businesses?
Bill S4263A-2011, sponsored by Senator Martin J. Golden, advanced to third reading in February 2012.
When a bill advances to third reading, it becomes ready for a final vote. However, a bill advancing to third reading does not guarantee that it will be voted on: it could be laid aside, or returned to committee for further study by the bill’s sponsor or it could be placed in an inactive file by the Majority Leader.
Will the Golden Bill be voted on or remain in limbo?
Recap on Bill S4263A-2011
The purpose of the bill is said “to provide an exemption for a specific class of good actors” who rent residential apartments on a short-term basis.
Under this proposed legislation, owners or leaseholders of a residential unit are allowed to rent for less than 30 days provided that:
(1) The unit is not a SRO (Single Room Occupancy)
(2) The unit has at least one bathroom and one kitchen
(3) The unit has smoke detectors in each room
(4) The unit carries sufficient fire, hazard and liability insurance and
(5) The unit has a valid vacation rental license.
Vacation Rental License Regulatory Framework
Other communities across the US and Europe have adopted a similar regulatory framework. For example, Amsterdam’s short stay accommodations have been regulated since 2009 and Chicago’s vacation rentals since January 2011.
Proposed Vacation Rental License for the City of New York
- Application Fee: $ 200 (renewable every two years).
- The license is good for one unit only.
- A license is not be required if the owner rents his unit(s) less than 15 days per year.
- Licensee must rent for at least 48 consecutive hours.
- Licensee must keep guest registration records etc.
In April 2011, we posted an article about a former version of this bill regulating vacation rentals in New York City. What version do you prefer?
Please note that if the licensee operates its own website, the license registration must be posted on the website. However there appears to be no such requirement if the licensee advertises his/her property on an online rental marketplace or a classified ads website.
All would benefit from such requirement to be imposed on online rental marketplaces/classified ads websites – as it would make it harder for tourists and business travelers to be scammed (a proper license registration number would need to be posted along the advertisement) and it would further “help to eliminate the type of illegal short-term use of class A units that the 2010 law sought” (one of the bill’s stated objective).
Moreover, there is no doubt that the New York legislature might be more amenable to authorize the operation of short-term rentals in residential apartment buildings in New York City if there was a system in place ensuring that owners collect the appropriate taxes from their guests.
What role(s), if any, should an online rental marketplace/classified ads website play in the implementation of such a system? Give us your opinion