Back in May regulators fined a man in New York City $2,400 for having rented out his room on the popular service Airbnb. The startup itself then vowed to fight the ruling, and today it received some good news: the New York City Environmental Control Board has reversed the previous decision. In a blog post today Airbnb's head of public policy, David Hantman, writes that the company had intervened on behalf of Nigel Warren, arguing that no laws had been violated since Warren's roommate had been present at the time of the rental. The state's "illegal hotels law," which exists primarily to prevent companies from turning residential properties into short-term rentals, has an exception for when a resident is present during said rental. The board agreed, handing Airbnb the victory.
Warren already paid the $2,400 fine, so while the new ruling will be a windfall for him personally this victory is just one step forward for Airbnb, which faces further legal questions in New York and other states. "We know there is more work to do," Hantman writes. "This episode highlights how complicated the New York law is, and it took far too long for Nigel to be vindicated. That is why we are continuing our work to clarify the law and ensure New Yorkers can share their homes and their city with travelers from around the world."