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Anti-Airbnb bill wants NYC hosts to disclose their full addresses

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If passed, the bill would affect all listings within multi-unit buildings

Local officials have proposed a new bill that would add another layer of what some view as transparency, and others view as difficulty, to the process of listing a NYC apartment on short-term rental sites like Airbnb. Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal is calling for legislation that would require New Yorkers who list apartments in multi-unit buildings to disclose their exact addresses, according to the New York Daily News.

By forcing hosts to disclose their precise location, which is typically withheld until a client books a trip, Rosenthal says that the city would be able to better identify owners who are advertising illegal listings, and thus be better equipped to enforce a bill that imposes hefty fines on those listing owners. (That, too, was sponsored by Rosenthal.) So far, it has proven tough to enforce—as of May, the city had fined just 139 of more than 23,000 potentially illegal listings.

Rosenthal says that this measure would allow for more “transparency and safety” for users. The legislation “shines some much-needed light on the process, provides guests with information pertinent to their reservation and ensures enforcement agencies can effectively protect residents, guests and community members alike,” she told the Daily News.

As of now, the proposal is in the early stages and it hasn’t been determined just how hosts would be required to disclose their addresses. Rosenthal says it’s possible that the addresses could be shared with City Hall and not posted in plain view on the site.

As expected, Airbnb officials aren’t pleased with the proposed bill, arguing that it does nothing but cater to the hotel industry and puts New York City-based hosts in danger.

“Forcing New Yorkers to publish their addresses online for anyone to see, especially while they are on vacation or visiting family, will put thousands of lives at risk," an Airbnb spokesman told Gothamist. "This is a dangerous bill, and we trust lawmakers will see this for exactly what it is: another favor for the hotel industry sponsored by their favorite taskmaster.”