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New York City Taking First Steps Against Air BnB Members

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Just saw on the news that the city attorney has obtained a subpoena against Air BnB requiring them to provide the names and addresses of all residents/landlords in New York City who are offering to rent their apartments through the service, with the goal of stopping rental and returning these residences (believed to be in the thousands) to the supply available for locals renting long term.

In a press conference several important officials including an influential congressman and the Manhattan Borough President cited the increasing number of complaints from legitimate local residents and concerns that Air BnB is taking out of circulation thousands of apartments that should be available for long-term rent by locals (a city policy aimed at keeping middle and working class people in the city with strict rent regulations).

An Air BnB spokesperson say the subpoena is too broad but it is not clear if they will elect to comply or to fight it in court (possibly increasing the chances of similar legal action in other places).

See how well Air BnB's "negotiations on the city laws" are going?

So for any tourists seeking to rent an apartment in Manhattan - watch the progress of this situation. The results and timing are unsure - but obviously the city's goal is to scare the apartment owners/residents out of participation with the threat of large fines - rather than actually having to prosecute all of them. But it appears they are ready to start broad-based prosecutions from the offering end rather than just responding to individual situations based on actual tenant complaints.

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