Places to stay in New York, however, might be more difficult to find.
AirBNB is an online service that connects property owners with renters. Renters can search among AirBNB’s hosts for places to stay while traveling.
On Thursday, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office issued a report claiming that 72 percent of AirBNB rentals in New York City were “in apparent violation of the MDL or NYC Administrative Code.”
“Where supporters of Airbnb and other rental sites see a catalyst for entrepreneurship, critics see a threat to the safety, affordability, and residential character of local communities,” the report stated.
Schneiderman defends the findings that nearly three out of four AirBNB rentals in the city are illegal.
“We must ensure that, as online marketplaces revolutionize the way we live, laws designed to promote financial accountability and even physical safety are not forsaken under the pretext of innovation,” Schneiderman told the New York Post.
Airbnb spokesperson Nick Papas told Mashable that the findings are based on outdated information, and that AirBNB has already removed 2,000 listings in an effort to be in compliance with the law.
Papas told Mashable that AirBNB helps New York City families “pay their bills and stay in their homes” despite a plethora of rules and regulations:
“Every single home, apartment, co-op and living space in New York is subject to a myriad of rules, so it’s impossible to make this kind of blanket statement. That kind of uncertainty and lack of clarity is exactly why we’re advocating for clear, fair rules for home sharing… We need to work together on some sensible rules.”
According to the report, the disputed rentals generated $304 million in profits for hosts and $40 million for AirBNB.
James Gattuso, senior research fellow in regulatory policy at The Heritage Foundation, said that AirBNB is a victim of overregulation:
Services such as AirBNB have allowed thousands of Americans to share their residences, gaining them needed income, and providing visitors with needed lodging. Rather than try to shut down such services, New York City should work to find ways to reconcile its rules with these innovative services. The city should be working for its citizens and visitors, not against them.
Founded in 2008, AirBNB has already connected travelers with places to stay in more than 34,000 cities and 190 countries.