Airbnb Triumphs Over A Big Legal Battle—But Is It Really A Win?



air-embedPhoto: Courtesy of Airbnb.
In 2010, the State of New York passed a law that would help eliminate illegal hotels. However, subsequent interpretations of this law have affected everyday New Yorkers, citing short-term rentals of apartments — even just for a weekend — as a violation of this legislation. Naturally, this affected hosts on the popular peer-to-peer rental site, Airbnb, which has been fighting for legal rights in NYC ever since. One host in particular, Nigel Warren, received a $2,400 fine after hosting a tourist on Airbnb, and his court battle has made him something of the unofficial poster child for the campaign for New Yorkers' housing rights. Just a few days ago, however, Warren won his case. On what grounds? Because his roommate was present during the guest's stay, he didn't break the law.

This ruling is a real game changer for services like Airbnb — as long as one of the tenants is present during a guest's short-term stay. Awkward? Possibly. The guest will have to get used to their host's weird habits and vice versa. But remember, it's still important for any Airbnb host to review the actual terms of his/her lease since realty companies or landlords may have pre-existing rules against any kind of short-term rentals.

What do you think? Will Airbnb continue to thrive, even with this new requirement? Or are New Yorkers too private to entertain complete strangers for the weekend? Give us a shout in the comments below.