Last June, Airbnb was rocked by a controversial lawsuit in New York, and now it has finally been resolved and truly, Airbnb is not illegal . Nigel Warren is an Airbnb host in New York who was fined thousands of dollars by a NYC judge just because he rented out his apartment for a few days. This decision was met by opposition by the Airbnb community. Airbnb publicly stated that they felt the decision was wrong in legal terms and would also be a step back for New York. Airbnb supported Nigel in their appeal for this ruling. Finally, this past Sept 28, the Environmental Control Board of New York has official heard the appeal and agreed with the arguments of Airbnb. The thousands of dollars fined to Nigel are now reversed. This is a very emotional victory not just for Nigel but for all the hosts in New York trying to make a decent living through Airbnb.
Many of us Hosts are truly thankful for this Victory. It would not have been possible without the community’s strong support for Nigel. This support is not only felt by Nigel, it is felt by every host. This is truly a cause for cheers and celebration as more hosts will now have confidence our endeavors. But of course, there are still some things we have to pay attention to. New York law is notoriously difficult to follow. Hosts everywhere should not forget to be mindful of the regulations for their space or apartment. Hosts should be aware of all laws and rules before going into the bnb business since Airbnb won’t be knowledgeable of all these local rules.
Airbnb and Nigel gave the following argument: under the New York law, if a permanent resident is present during the guest’s stay, this should not be in violation of the short term rental regulations of NY. Many parts of the law is confusing, especially with provisions that pertain to specific buildings but does not apply to others. However, the provisions regarding shared space is not ambiguous or hard to understand. Airbnb got involved with the case since first court decision on the case was indeed wrong. And now, it is truly a pleasure to hear that the Board has heard this argument and has agreed to it.
There are still many fights to be fought. New York law is certainly hard to work with and sometimes, hard to clarify. This is why Airbnb has promised to keep on their work and support of both the hosts and the city officials of New York so that ordinary New Yorkers who want to share their space can keep on doing so in the safest way possible.
In any case, this victory is something that will elevate the status of the sharing economy and surely, so many New Yorkers will be happy with the new decision. Truly, Airbnb and the sharing economy is proving itself to be sustainable industry and be sure that Airbnb is not illegal in the city of New York.