Looking At Airbnb From A Legal Perspective

Some of the most enticing business ideas are the ones that have a low barrier to entry. We will discuss Airbnb in a moment, but this concept is prevalent in markets such as Software of a Service (SaaS). There are reduced infrastructure costs, it’s scalable, and businesses can derive value and benefits quickly. We are discussing SaaS in a blog about real estate because many of these qualities exist within Airbnb. You can go from having the idea of transforming your apartment, house, or condo into an Airbnb and putting it into action in a relatively short time. 

A cursory internet search will provide a detailed, step-by-step process for renting out your home. However, before you create a profile and set up your listing, it is crucial to consider the legal considerations, especially if you intend to do this in New York City. We published this blog to discuss the legal aspects you should know before converting your property into an Airbnb. 

New York City & Short-Term Rental Laws

To be upfront, New York City has very strict regulations on short-term rentals, even if they are posted on widely-used platforms such as Airbnb. In New York City, renting out an entire apartment or house for less than 30 consecutive days is legal if the owner or resident is present. That said, you may go on Airbnb’s website and view pages of listings for places throughout New York. The exception to this law is that the owner has to be present. In other words, someone who owns a home and rents out one of their rooms while they are also in the house is operating within the law’s confines. 

Zoning & Building Codes

Although that is the law currently, that doesn’t mean it will always be. There have been discussions and articles written saying that the original intent behind the law is to prevent landlords from renting their apartments through Airbnb, but that is not how the law currently reads. If this ever does change, that still doesn’t mean you should rush into renting out your property. New York City has zoning and building codes that impact your ability to operate an Airbnb. For example, rent-stabilized or rent-controlled apartments may restrict your ability to sublet or turn a unit or house into a short-term rental (less than 30 days). 

Additionally, buildings governed by cooperative agreements or condominium boards have expressed bylaws that also restrict or prohibit this. In addition to contacting a real estate attorney, you must review the rules and regulations governing your property. Avoiding potential internal conflicts with your board or other legal ramifications is paramount. 

Speak with the Legal Team of Drucker & Mattia, PLLC

Navigating the legal components of renting a property in New York City can be complex, even if you want to utilize options like Airbnb’s platform. When you work with us, begin with the end in mind. What is it that you want to accomplish with your real property? Allow us to provide you with the necessary knowledge and legal support to achieve it. If you are a landlord, we will work to ensure you comply with current laws and regulations while protecting your investment. To continue this conversation with one of our attorneys, contact our office today and schedule a consultation. 

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Drucker & Mattia PLLC

When you’re facing legal issues or pursuing a lawsuit, skilled legal counsel makes a big difference. At Drucker & Mattia, PLLC, we specialize in a wide range of legal areas to meet the needs of a diverse client base.

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