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One ruling doesn't make Airbnb sublets legal, warns New York state senator

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Airbnb iPhone
Airbnb iPhone

Following Airbnb's victory in overturning a fine last week, New York state senator Liz Krueger (D-Manhattan) has issued a public statement warning New Yorkers that the decision is an "exception that proves the rule." Krueger notes that the situation in question was unique in that there was a permanent resident still living at the apartment while an Airbnb customer stayed in one of its vacant rooms. Such situations were "never the focus of the New York law against illegal hotels," says Krueger.

"The vast majority of Airbnb's business in NYC... remains unambiguously illegal."

"Airbnb may have scored a PR victory with the success of this appeal, but that's all it is," the senator continues. "The vast majority of Airbnb's business in New York City — short-term rentals of apartments in residential buildings without any permanent residents present — remains unambiguously illegal." Krueger adds that by assisting "this one cherry-picked case," Airbnb presents itself as responsible and sympathetic, when in fact the company, and others like it, are putting NYC residents at risk of eviction. "Illegal short-term rentals in multi-family residential buildings impose dangers and burdens on neighbors, building owners, and visitors alike, and they further exacerbate New York City's housing crisis."

"Some may call that 'paradigm-breaking' or 'disruptive,' but ultimately, it's just irresponsible and greedy."

Krueger's comments make it clear that, despite last week's ruling, Airbnb won't have an easy ride moving forward. Airbnb knows the illegality of many of its members' listings, Krueger argues, but continues to put them in the "line of fire" by "recruiting them to feed its business model and participate in what is essentially a black market." She closes the fiercely worded statement saying that "some may call [Airbnb's business model] 'paradigm-breaking' or 'disruptive,' but ultimately, it's just irresponsible and greedy."