Update on Short-Term Rentals

happy young couple opening door and welcoming friends apartment

On October 21st, Governor Cuomo signed into law a bill that allows fines to be imposed on persons who advertise short-term rentals such as those commonly marketed through Airbnb and similar services. The penalties available are $1,000 for the first violation, $5,000 for the second violation and $7,500 for third and subsequent violations. Airbnb challenged the validity of the law almost immediately in federal court but, unless its enforcement is enjoined or it is struck down, it will remain in effect.

As we discussed in our prior memorandum dated March 4, 2015, titled “Occupants”, New York State law bans the leasing of apartments in multiple dwellings, including cooperatives and condominiums, for time periods of less than 30-days. The new law does not change the scope of this ban but adds a penalty for advertising short-term rentals. The ban does not apply to circumstances where the apartment owner shares the apartment with a short-term, non-paying guest or permits a non-paying guest to use the apartment while the owner is away for a short period. Most cooperative proprietary leases place some limits on the use of the apartments by guests, but condominium by-laws rarely have similar restrictions. Both, however, require lessees and unit owners to comply with applicable laws, including the ban on short-term rentals.  It is important that boards remain vigilant and take immediate action when they become aware of any short-term rentals through a posting on Airbnb or otherwise.

If you are having issues with short-term rentals in your building, or have other questions concerning permitted occupancies, please contact us.

This memorandum was initially issued by the cooperative/condominium practice group of Balber Pickard Maldonado & Van Der Tuin, PC which joined Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP on February 1, 2017, and now practices as part of SGR’s cooperative/condominium practice group.

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