Council members Helen Rosenthal and Ydanis Rodriguez proposed new legislation that would raise the fine for a first offense from $1,000 to $10,000, with a maximum penalty increasing from $25,000 to $50,000, reports The New York Daily News (http://bit.ly/1cLVLCe).
Another bill would require City Hall to provide an annual report showing complaints, inspections and fines related to short-term rentals.
Permanent residents can sublet a property for less than 30 days if the resident will continue to live in the residence.
The council states that illegal rentals reduce affordable housing, and that property owners are pressuring residents to move out of their apartments to make room for hotel rooms.
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman found that almost three-quarters of Airbnb’s New York City bookings from 2010 to 2014 were illegal, and found that property owners using Airbnb evaded millions of dollars in hotel taxes.
The report also found that in Manhattan’s Upper West Side, Chelsea and Greenwich Village and Brooklyn’s Williamsburg/Greenpoint, some property owners rent entire floors.
Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Office of Special Inspections issued 568 violations in the first four months of 2015, compared to 310 in the first four months of 2014.
David Hantman of Airbnb says there are some who take advantage of the system, but more than 90 percent of the hosts through Airbnb only list one unit a few days a year for supplemental income.