Just two weeks after Airbnb decided to drop its lawsuit against New York State but pursue the suit against the City of New York, the short-term rental site has had a change of heart. The New York Times reports that Airbnb has decided not to push forward with its lawsuit against New York City, settling the suit instead.
Just to refresh: Airbnb was challenging a piece of new legislation signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo that threatened fines up to $7,500 for site users who advertised entire apartments for fewer than 30 days. The site took issue on many levels, claiming that the new law was a violation of First Amendment rights and hurtful to thousands of families who rely on the extra income that Airbnb generates them. They also charged that the legislation was unclear in its language, leaving the site confused on whether they, too, would have to pay a fine for the actions of rogue users.
As part of the settlement, New York City vows not to impose fines against Airbnb and only against the site users who violate the law by operating illegal hotels.
“This is an astounding about-face on the part of Airbnb, which clearly recognized that this was a foolhardy and frivolous lawsuit,” said Assemblywoman Linda B. Rosenthal.
“We look forward to using this as a basis to finding an approach that protects responsible New Yorkers while cracking down on illegal hotels that remove permanent housing off the market or create unsafe spaces,” Airbnb said in an official statement.
The city has repeatedly reassured that they are not interested in individuals who are looking to make money by renting out their homes for extra cash and are focusing on halting illegal hotel operations. The settlement will go into effect beginning Monday, December 5th.
- Airbnb Ends Fight With New York City Over Fines [The New York Times]
- Airbnb will sue NYC, despite settling with New York state [Curbed]
- Illegal Airbnb listings in NYC will now incur hefty fines [Curbed]