On Monday, popular “rent-out-your-home” service Airbnb announced that it deleted more than 2,000 listings of New York from its website that weren’t abiding the rules and regulations.
David Hantman, head of public policy of Airbnb revealed this in a blog post, where he stated that these listings weren’t delivering the right kind of hospitality and ethics of the service. David also said that these listings were also negatively influencing the community and by taking strong step to find these hosts, it started to wipe these listings in since last month.
The subpoena filed by Schneiderman is based on a 2011 New York state law, which clearly states, renting out of a property in New York for less than 29 days is illegal. This law was made to tackle those slumlords, who force the renters to leave the property and make quick money on short-term stays and on unlicensed hotels.
As of now, these 2,000+ de-listed hosts has been allowed to finish up existing bookings but they have been prohibited to accept new customers. Today, Airbnb is scheduled to appear before New York State Supreme Court about the privacy of its user data on thousands of its hosts. In last October, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has filed a subpoena requesting three years’ worth of data on all Airbnb users in New York, who have offered to rent out their homes/rooms to customers.
Following the subpoena, thousands of Airbnb’s hosts signed a petition, which was authored by a New York City host named Mishelle to the state’s senate to fix the “poorly written law” that could stop Airbnb and its hosts to grow their business in New York region. The petition is about to reach to its revised goal of 240,000 signatures. The company has also said that it will not turn over large amounts of hosts data but it will cooperate with the lawmakers to remove all illegal hotel operators and slumlords.
On Sunday, April 20, David Hantman said the following in a blog post:
Everyone in the Airbnb community, people who care about privacy and countless New Yorkers said enough is enough. This attack on thousands of regular New Yorkers who occasionally rent out their homes was a wrongheaded waste of time and law enforcement resources.
There were some bad actors within the Airbnb community, but the most hosts are working positively by following all rules and regulations. David Hantman also said, due to Airbnb’s service, the state government is earned more than $36 million in sales tax, more than 6,600 jobs created and there will be over $768 million of economic activity in New York in this year.
Today, New York State Supreme Court will hear oral arguments between the attorney general’s office and Airbnb official. David Hartman said that the company will notify each of its hosts in New York, if the law forces them to give user details to governments. Stay tuned for more updates on this story.