Apparently Airbnb and the City of New York couldn’t come to a common agreement as they hoped for regarding their disagreement over new legislation that prevents site users from promoting entire apartments for rent with a time frame of less than 30 days. The Wall Street Journal reports that the short-term rental site has plans to withdraw its lawsuit against New York state but will proceed with the one filed against New York City (h/t The Real Deal)
Earlier this month, it was reported that Airbnb was in talks with the city and Attorney General to settle the lawsuit. However, the site is not dropping the case against the city because they feel that the new legislation signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo, threatening fines of up to $7,500, is specific to New York City’s jurisdiction and violates their First Amendment rights. Airbnb maintains that banning the ads are an obstruction of free speech.
The site also argues that the language within the bill isn’t clear enough to distinguish if only site users would receive a fine for advertisements that are in violation of the law or if the site would receive penalties as well for allowing it. Additionally, they advocate that the bill will hurt thousands of families who depend on their services to generate much-needed extra income.
“We have long sought to work with leaders in New York on clear, fair rules for home sharing and we’re continuing to do all we can to protect the thousands of middle class families who depend on home sharing to earn a little extra money,” said a spokesperson for Airbnb to the Wall Street Journal. The Attorney General’s office says that their primary focus is to crack down on illegal hotel operation, not individuals trying to make money by listing their homes.
- Airbnb Settles New York State Suit, Focusing on City [Wall Street Journal]
- Airbnb drops suit against NY — but continues fight against city [The Real Deal]