Airbnb and other home share platforms have been exacerbating the already tight supply of affordable housing in many major cities (see other articles in the 323.APARTMENTS blog) by raising prices of short term rentals. However, home share platforms also increase liability exposure of apartment landlords by introducing renters who have no written contracts with the landlord. In the event of catastrophic events, landlords are held liable even though they have no rental contracts with such renters and have never prior knowledge of their existence in the apartment complexes.
Airbnb and other home-share platforms are now banned in New York and Los Angeles apartments. In New York, under the new legislation, the fine for a first offense increases tenfold, from the current $1,000 to a whopping $10,000, with the maximum penalty jumping from $25,000 to $50,000. A companion bill mandates an annual report from City Hall of complaints, inspections, and fines connected to illegal short-term rentals.
Los Angeles passed a similar law. In Los Angeles, a tenant must have prior written permission from landlord otherwise face prosecution and eviction resulting from breach of contract (lease agreement). The stiffest opposition to Airbnb has ironically come from places like San Francisco (its birthplace and headquarters) and New York. There, affordable housing advocates have joined forces with the hotel industry and labor unions to demand greater regulation.