New York considers ban on short-term vacation rentals
For many budget-conscious Big Apple visitors, scoring a short-term apartment rental through websites is a money-saving alternative to pricey Manhattan hotels
This week, writes Budget Travel, "New York state senators vote on a bill that would make it illegal for any homeowner or renter to sublet for less than a month. The new law would be a blanket ban on short-term rentals no matter how ethical the renter is. (It's always been illegal to violate co-op leases and condominium bylaws.)
As I noted back in 2008, the practice of renting New York City apartments for short-term stays was already controversial, in part because some landlords were scamming potential guests with substandard or even nonexistent digs.
This isn't a business practice we support, and we strongly discourage people" from renting apartments, Chris Heywood of NYC & Company, the city's official tourism arm, told me back then. "It's a real case of buyer beware."
"Vacation rentals in New York are a love-hate relationship, with multiple layers of regulations," says Carl Shepherd of HomeAway, Inc.
800-plus listings in the city are a combination of units offered through property management companies and apartments used expressly as short-term rentals. While the current bill "may have been intended to properly stop a tenant from subletting an apartment or transients staying on couches or in back rooms or Murphy-beds of someone they met on Craigslist," he says, the proposed law "calls into question whether or not a property owner can choose to rent his property for less than 30 days for a legitimate, legal purpose."
Readers, have you ever booked a short-term apartment stay in Manhattan? If so, did the savings outweigh the potential risks?