Brooklyn pol introduces home-sharing regulation bill
by Benjamin Fang
May 03, 2017 | 3192 views | 0 0 comments | 136 136 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Brooklyn Assemblyman Joseph Lentol introduced legislation on Monday that would regulate home-sharing and allow companies like Airbnb to collect and remit city and state taxes on behalf of hosts.

“Home-sharing is here to stay,” Lentol said. “We need to provide strong laws so that it can be done in a safe and responsible way.

“Most people participate in this program because they need help to pay bills,” he added, “to help them maintain their residence in expensive New York City.”

Lentol said home-sharing allows tourists to spend their money outside of Midtown Manhattan, which would benefit local neighborhoods.

The bill would codify a provision that limits short-term rental hosts to listing just one home on any home-sharing platform in New York City.

According to Airbnb, the San Francisco-based company has already tried to limit commercial actors, including the removal of more than 4,200 listing for violating that rule since November 2015.

Since last November, 96 percent of Airbnb hosts only list one space, the company said. They want that rule to extend to all home-sharing platforms.

Another aspect of the bill would create a “streamlined registration system” for hosts, authorizing platforms like Airbnb to register hosts on their half.

The legislation would also require all hosts provide insurance, either individually or through their chosen home-sharing platform. Each platform would be required to create a hotline to address concerns from neighbors or others.

The proposal would also impose a “three-strikes” policy that would bar a host from renting short-term if he or she violates city or state regulations.

The last portion of the bill would allow platforms like Airbnb to collect and remit taxes from guests on their behalf. The company has generated more than $240 million that they said would be dedicated to tenant protection, affordable housing and homelessness.

Airbnb touted its economic impact on the city. According to the company, it has generated $3.5 billion in the local economy and has supported 38,000 jobs.

“Assemblyman Lentol is showing true leadership by paving the way for a modern regulatory framework that allows everyday New Yorkers the chance to earn extra income by sharing their homes,” said Josh Meltzer, head of New York Public Policy for Airbnb. “While New York has tried to position itself as a leader in the Internet economy, outdated regulations enacted to help entrenched special interests are standing in the way.”
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