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Changing the Public Perception of Short-Term Rentals

October 26, 2010

Non-profit organizations such as the West Side Neighborhood Alliance and Housing Conservation Coordinators contributed to the passage of the short-term rental ban in New York City by launching an effective PR campaign to discredit short-term rental owners and managers.

Proponents of the short-term rental ban have among other things alleged that “illegal hotels” (a misnomer for short stay accommodations in residential buildings) have damaged New York City’s reputation among tourists and that short-term renters do not care about security and building upkeep.  Needless to say, very little data were collected by the ban’s supporters to substantiate their claims.

It is important to turn the tide around and show our local politicians how New York City has been and is benefiting from the short-term rental industry.

We are currently designing questionnaires to evaluate (1) the economic impact of the short-term rental industry on New York City; (2) the public perception of the short-term rental industry; (3) the motivations behind renting on a short-term basis.

We welcome your ideas on how to create these questionnaires.  Please email us your suggestions at

Cover page for the June 2008 Report prepared by the Illegal Hotels Working Group to describe the impact of short-term rentals in residential buildings on New York City residents, the City’s economy and the City’s housing stock.  The Report was sponsored by, among others, Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, Senator Liz Krueger, Housing Conservation Coordinators and the West Side Neighborhood Alliance.

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  1. jen permalink

    There will still be agencies taking reservations and it will be business as usual to some extent Maybe a bit less inventory but definitely going to be able to find, there will be a way to rent apartments for 30 days without necessarily staying 30 days 🙂 Some lawyer will figure it out

  2. Sivana permalink

    We are currently designing questionnaires to evaluate (1) the economic impact of the short-term rental industry on New York City; (2) the public perception of the short-term rental industry; (3) the motivations behind renting on a short-term basis.
    We welcome your ideas on how to create these questionnaires. Please email us your suggestions at

    I beleive strongly that having too many short term rentals in a once residential neighborhood that at one time had character, will destroy the ambience of that neighborhood.

    An example is the fish markets or meat packing districts in Manhattan or Little Italy.

    Short term Vacation rentals have wiped out those tourist draws.

    I for one don’t bother going to Little Italy anymore when i visit Manhattan. I don’t even want to go to Manhattan anymore. The draw for me was NOT corporate designed entertainment but instead getting down on the street level to see performers, walk into cafe’s, go into small clothing shops, mix in with the rush hour crowd……smell the various blends of bakeries and bus exhaust or dodge a delivery guy riding his bicycle stacked wtih groceries.

    These are the things that made NY unique. But it is becoming just another city like other big cities.

    There is no more East Village, no more vibe in Washington square…..
    Simply adding central air changes the smells on the streets because shops keep their doors closed!

    These are senses that make a 6th sense. THe sense that leaves an imprint in the cells that can not be described by sight, smell, sound, touch….(what was the 5th one again?)

    Anyway… that is my 2 cents.

    A solution is very simple….

    Unfortunately it is pinned between being controlling of our freedom to purchase property and our rights as to what we can do with it.

    That is; regulate the amount per building that one can rent or else you will have more tourists than residents and that changes the atmosphere of the place because tourists usually need a Duane Reade when they travel. The types of shops in any area will also change to cater to the type of people who inhabit the area.

    Manhattan is now full of typical, very very expensive shops that change hands every few years. Gone are the butcher the baker and the lamp shops, and hat shops.

    EVolving is a bad excuse for allowing change when change will be nothing but reduplicated everywhere to all seem the same.

    When everything is the same, we get sterilization.
    3) the motivations behind renting on a short-term basis.

    We need people to be able to rent on a short term basis. But let that be people who need a livelihood and are close to loosing their apartments. When renting is exploited and owners become greedy and rent all year round, then it won’t work because it will not spread out the benefit to allow others who could use the supplemental income to also benefit from occasionally taking in short term rentors.

    Not everyone can have a job in this world. But each building can establish how to allow residents to take turns making some supplemental income by having short term rentors.

    it is a financial survival move that can work if it is controlled.


  3. Hello,

    I ALWAYS book a vacation rental when I travel, especially as I travel with kids. We need a kitchen, whether the stay is for 2 days or 22 days. And we also need the privacy that renting an apartment generally affords. Moreover, vacation rentals are a great way to spread the tourist money beyond the confines of a city’s ‘usual’ hotel district or districts. And it’s a great way for a tourist to feel like a local and develop an affinity for an area of a city. I just learned that NYC’s vacation rentals will be illegal after May 1. My sister and I, and our families, were planning a trip to New York with the kids for the week of Thanksgiving, 2011. But only if all 7 of us could be in the same place, with separate bedrooms, with a full kitchen (gotta cook that turkey!) and a living area where we could all gather. There is NO WAY we would be willing to stay in 2 or 3 hotel rooms for the same period. It would increase our costs exponentially, between the exorbitant costs of a hotel room (x3) and paying for 21 meals a day. There would be no money left in the budget for things like shows, shopping, and seeing the sights, so what would be the point? But no worries, we’ll head to Rome or Boston or London or San Francisco instead, and leave New York to the New Yorkers, as the legislators seem to desire. We can watch the Thanksgiving Day parade on tv or online, from wherever we are, and probably have a better view. I suggest that,,, and trip advisor (those are the sites I use the most) attach a questionnaire in response to a search inquiry for New York City for any time period after May 1, 2011, asking questions to renters that will help demonstrate just how detrimental this law is going to be for the New York economy.

    Susan Fox
    New Mexico

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