Who is getting hurt by the ban on vacation rentals in New York City?
Second in the series of testimonials: Laura’s story
In an interview given to Brian Lehrer on July 8 2010, Richard Gottfried when asked what is wrong with letting singers, actors and others rent their apartments when away on gigs, evaded the issue by raising trivial or irrelevant distinctions and objections.
Gottfried claimed among other things that allowing individuals to rent apartments for less than thirty days damages the residential nature of the building and that short-term renters differ from long-term renters insofar “[they] do not ordinarily care as much about security and building upkeep.”
If this was the true concern behind this new legislation then why not implement clear limitations on and regulations for short-term rentals? For instance, a homeowner or permanent resident’s right to rent for less than thirty days could be limited to x number of times per year.
Gottfried justified prohibiting rentals of less than thirty days based on issues of noises and other nuisances but he has yet to distinguish these violations from individuals who rent for longer time period (i.e. for more than thirty days).
Furthermore, he argued that the agency charged with enforcing the new legislation (New York City Department of Buildings) was not interested in cracking down on musicians and other performers for occasionally renting their apartment to tourists but on landlords who turn large segments of their buildings into an illegal hotel.
How come then was the legislation drafted as broadly as to render unlawful all rentals of less than thirty days?
Artists, performers and others will be driven out of the City if they can no longer rent out their apartments when away for work.
Please listen to the testimony of an actress who has been subletting her apartment when she leaves town for performances.
 “For your neighbors, it means a parade of strangers coming in and out. People who do not ordinarily care as much about security and building upkeep. Noise late at night. The City has stricter fire and building codes for hotel operations. It can make trying to leave peacefully in a building a real nightmare and there are reasons why we have zoning laws that separate factories and office buildings from residential buildings. This is a very similar issue.” Ibid.