On October 21st, 2016 New York Governor Cuomo signed the bill 8704-C into law, imposing fines for the advertisement of illegal short term transient occupancies. Referred to as the “Airbnb Bill,” the bill does not target Airbnb specifically, nor does it make Airbnb’s services illegal. The use of a Class A residential dwelling for a duration of less than 30 days already violates the Multiple Dwelling Law of 1929. The aim of 8704-C is to punish the advertisers of illegal home sharing.
The 8704-C bill amends section 121 of the Multiple Dwelling Law by “prohibiting advertising that promotes the use of dwelling units in a class A multiple dwelling for other than permanent residents.”
The operative word in the text is advertising, which is defined as “any form of communication for marketing that is used to encourage, persuade or manipulate viewers, readers or listeners into contracting for goods and/or services as may be viewed through various media including but not limited to newspapers, magazines, flyers, handbills, television commercials, radio, signage, direct mail, websites or text messages.”
Testament to Airbnb’s ingenuity, their user-friendly digital platform has elevated the current phenomenon of home sharing. With the passage of 8704-C, users of home sharing sites like Airbnb now face the following penalties if they advertise Class A multiple dwellings for transient purposes.
First violation: fines up to $1000
Second violation: fines up to $5000
Third and subsequent violations: fines up to $7500
The Mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement will be responsible for enforcing the bill.
If you’re interested in the additional Building Code standards required for a Class B (transient) dwelling including fire and life safety standards, see the Decoder article here.
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Restaurants have been caught in something of a catch-22 since the beginning of the pandemic.