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23123 Views 23 Replies Latest reply: Mar 1, 2012 11:33 AM by marilyn RSS
New Member 5 posts since
Feb 23, 2011
Currently Being Moderated

Feb 23, 2011 3:24 PM

New Short Term Rental Law in NY does not permit renting less than 30 days

As of May 2011 there will be a law in effect in NY that does not allow short term rentals less than 30 days. VRBO and all the other sites I advertise on make no mention if this law coming into effect. I dont know how this law will get implimented and it we can continue to advertise short term rentals.

Any input or information is greatly appreciated.

  • amyg Active Contributor 323 posts since
    Dec 10, 2010

    Dahlia, is this law just for New York city or does it cover the state? 

  • New Member 4 posts since
    Feb 24, 2011

    It's the same in San Francisco. I have to sell my apartment there because I can't affort to keep it if I can't rent it. In the other hand, if you rent it more than 30 days, you may lost it because of rent control. Same in NYC. So much for ownership and freedom!

  • New Member 1 posts since
    Feb 24, 2011

    Reading the new MDL law, It's only for buildings with 3 or more rental apartments located in NYC, not the entire NYS. If your rental is a single family home, this new law does not apply to you. Vacation homes are not part of this new law.

  • community-editor HomeAway Employee 14 posts since
    Dec 7, 2010

    Hello all,


    Here is a summary of what we know about the NYC Rental restrictions...


    Current legislation (set to become effective in May 2011) will prohibit short-term rentals of less than 30 days in many residential buildings in New York City. Contrary to what has been reported, the legislation does not prohibit all short-term rentals, but it is sweeping in scope and could well affect your property. Each owner who wishes to rent their property on a short-term basis should review the bill as written to determine what impact, if any, it has on your ability to rent short-term and how you may consider changing your business practices to meet its requirements.


    It appears that the Mayor's Office of Special Enforcement ("OSE") will be charged with investigating and enforcing the law.  The OSE is currently responsible for coordinating enforcement efforts across City agencies to address quality of life issues, including those related to adult use locations, lawless clubs, trademark counterfeiting etc. Our current understanding is that enforcement will be complaint-based, including complaints that originate via calls to 311.


    You can learn more about the OSE here


    HomeAway has found that effectively influencing regulation legislation can best occur when owners work together to lobby for fair rules that both protect individual property owners rights and improve the trust and security of the short-term rental industry for both owners and travelers. It is clear that when the short-term rental is subject to collecting sales and transient occupancy taxes, interested owners gain credibility when they can demonstrate that they are in compliance with these tax rules. The issue of collecting and remitting taxes has historically had a significant effect on new regulations.


    Short term rentals in NYC appear to be subject to the Hotel Room Occupancy Tax here


    As vacation rental owners, it is always helpful to be socially and politically involved in your community. Attending meetings and volunteer events help the community to understand the benefits of vacation rentals.


    Here are some community resources focused on New York that we find useful.
    Website covering the legislation in NYC

    Website of the Department of Buildings



    • New Member 16 posts since
      Feb 26, 2011

      This is clearly a case of David vs. Goliath.  The big-money interests behind hotel chains have lobbied to get cities to prohibit mom-and-pop homeowners from competiting with them.  That's a shame, since the consumer has already spoken and many people prefer by-owner vacation rentals. 


      HIstory is on the side of homeowners.  Since civilization began, homeowners have opened up their homes to accomodate visitors.  How a city can prohibit this time-honored right is beyond me.


      When was the last time that you stayed in a mega hotel owned by a mega chain and left thinking that they really went out of their way to give you a great experience?  When was the last time you stayed at one of those hotels and left saying that you got a great value?  The fact of the matter is that they have neglected their guests for years - and so some of those guests have now found a superior alternative.  That's how free markets work - and it is a good thing since the consumer wins.


      Unfortunately, through the use of lobbyists the big-money interests have now convinced New York to prohibit this.  They are protecting their turf.  It's a shame that legislators can be so-swayed.


      Personally, I think the Paris Hiltons of this world have enough of our vacation money.  The Paris Hiltons of the world also have shown a disinterest in taking great care of their guests.  It's nice to see individual homeowners enjoy a slice of the action.


      Vacation rental owners need to have their own lobbying group to support them - and their guests.  The interest of both the homeowners and the guests are being overlooked.

    • New Member 1 posts since
      Jul 7, 2011

      The question is for the HomeAway editor- could you please clarify: is it legal or ilegal to rent through your website an apt in NY  for less than 30 days?

      • carl.shepherd HomeAway Employee 1 posts since
        Apr 1, 2011

        Hello Lindam,


        The law that was supposed to go into effect earlier this year to “ban vacation rentals” led to misunderstandings and various interpretations on all sides of this issue.  While there are rumors about what this law means and at whom it is targeting, it does exist. Even though amendments have been submitted to clarify it, to our knowledge it has not been amended.  Some of those amendments might clarify an owner has the right to rent a home/apartment on a short term basis, but as noted, the law has yet to be amended.


        Even if this law remains as written, without any amendments, the simple answer to your question is yes, it can be legal to rent property in NY for less than 30 days, but it’s complicated.  Legal in NYC is subject to (a) state, (b) city, (c) borough, (d) building and (e) collective ownership statutes, ordinances, declaratory statements, co-op contracts and condominium association rules and finally by any rules enforced by an individual landlord.  But it is possible to thread through all of them and rent on a short term basis, even today.


        You specifically posed a question about renting an “apt.”  It may be legal to rent an apartment PROVIDED you own it and there are no restrictions placed on short term rentals by a co-op or a condominium homeowners association.  But if you lease an apartment on a long term basis from a landlord, then you can only sublet that apartment for any length of time as governed by the terms of your lease. So while it is “legal” to rent your apartment for a short term rental, you may still be prohibited from doing so by the lease you signed with the landlord.


        We suggest that owners in NYC make it very clear to their representatives in Albany that this law needs to be clarified and we further suggest that you read the amendments for yourself to make sure you agree that they clarify your rights sufficiently.  In the meantime, the law is the law, and individuals may make their own decisions as to whether or not it applies to their unique situation.


        Best Regards,

        Carl Shepherd

        Co-Founder and Chief Strategy and Development Officer

  • method Contributor 48 posts since
    Jun 15, 2011

    A new bill was recently introduced by Senator Martin J. Golden intended to amend the yet to be implemented short-term rental ban in New York City.


    As long as the “class A” multiple dwelling unit is not a single room occupancy, (ii) contains a bathroom and kitchen, (iii) has working smoke detectors located in each room and (iv) the unit has sufficient fire, hazard and liability insurance to cover those persons using the unit for such occupancy, the unit could be lawfully rented for less than thirty days."

    • sfvacationhut Community All-Star 643 posts since
      Dec 31, 2010

      I have seen some comments in here about the idea that vacation rentals have been outlawed in San Francisco.  The legislation dates back to 1981, so it's not anything new.  It applies to apartment buildings with 4 or more units.  See more info below.




      I wrote this in November 2010, in response  to Rebecca Rosenfelt (of Inhabit Vacations)'s article about the laws regarding vacation rentals in San Francisco and Sonoma County. She originally had some inaccurate information about the "ban' on vacation rentals in San Francisco (regulation passed in 1981). But there is a lot of other good information in there.



      The above link is what I was responding to, when I wrote my e-mail below.  Afterwards, Rebecca used the information to create the UPDATE section, which you now see at the end of her article (link above).




      Hi Rebecca,


      I read your blog post about the new regulations for vacation rentals in San Francisco.  Did you know that the so-called ban on vacation rentals in San Francisco only applies to buildings with 4 or more units?  When there was all that brouhaha about the New York article, etc, nobody mentioned that fact. 


      To Address Its Housing Shortage, Paris Cracks Down on Pied-à-Terre Rentals



      San Francisco Vacation Apartment Rentals: Lucrative and Largely Illegal



      But if you look at the regulation, that's what it says.



      From the code:


      Section 41A.5 "(a) Unlawful Actions. It shall be unlawful for any owner to offer an apartment unit for rent for tourist or transient use."


      Section 41A.4 "(a) Apartment Unit. Room or rooms in any building, or portion thereof, which is designed, built, rented, leased, let or hired out to be occupied, or which is occupied as the home or residence of four or more households living independently of each other in dwelling units as defined in the San Francisco Housing Code...."


      Section 41A.4 "(c) Tourist or Transient Use. Use of an apartment unit for occupancy on less than a 30-day term of tenancy."



      Sadly, the journalism on this was pretty irresponsible. Due to the articles mentioned above (with inaccurate, incomplete information), there was all this fuss. Now some people (owners and the general public) think these vacation rentals are "unlawful" ... when the truth is that most people are totally fine ... because their building has 3 or fewer units.   Also note that even if the apartment does 4 or more units,  the only people who can bring a claim against the owner (according to the regulation), would be long-term tenants currently living in that same building.  So most vacation rentals are pretty safe, as long as the long-term tenants do not have any complaints.  In fact, many vacation rental buildings do not have ANY long-term tenants living in the same building, so there is no one who can file a complaint.


      One thing I've been wondering about: the regulation doesn't say how it treats condos ... which are often located in 4+ unit buildings.  Hopefully condos are safe from the ban.  Although ... many condo associations have internal rules that forbid vacation rentals in the building.


      Aside from the legality of the whole thing, there's also the subject of the lodging tax (hotel tax + TOT fee), which is required on any stay of 29 days or less. Lodging taxes are collected on any guest room (with some minor exceptions).  Here is the Muni code that defines what is or is not a hotel (i.e., it defines who needs to pay hotel taxes).

    • New Member 7 posts since
      Oct 27, 2011

      Just so everyone is clear the Martin Golden amendment has not been passed.

  • bobbie32 Senior Contributor 1,084 posts since
    May 21, 2011


    So it passed!  Where was VRBO/Homeaway when this was being considered? They stand to lose mega dollars in listings. Did they not lobby against this bill?  I would hate to be invested in VRBO/Homeaway right now.  Those of us that have listings in other parts of the country better hold on to our pocketbooks since rates are sure to rise.


    Sad...very sad...

  • New Member 7 posts since
    Oct 27, 2011


    A small group of Bed and Breakfasts has organized an Association called STAY-NYC to hopefully get grandfathered in.

    Please follow on twitter and support the plight of these very small business owners.

    twitter: bnbstaynyc

    A website will be up soon.

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