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nyc BLOG estate

Brewer Writes Mayor to Reject Airbnb's Business Model

Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer is calling on City Hall to reject Airbnb’s business
model and fight its efforts to legalize the now illegal use of apartments for commercial use.

In a letter to Mayor de Blasio, Brewer warns that using residences as unregulated hotels risks further reducing the number of affordable and rent-regulated apartments in the City – right when they are most needed. The practice also creates unsafe conditions for the renters, neighbors, and visitors, she adds.

"The Administration must not jettison the tenant protections embodied in the current laws and regulations or accept payment on illegal activity that violates tenants’ rights," Brewer writes.

"In addition to the dangers and nuisances posed by Airbnb’s business model, the illegal hotel industry keeps substantial numbers of affordable housing units off the market. Many tenants, seeking additional income, avail themselves of Airbnb’s services and put themselves at risk of eviction." according to Brewer.

In the face of the State Attorney General’s intense investigation and subpoena of their records, Airbnb has recently revealed another strategy: to begin collecting hotel taxes on the transient use of residential apartments. They claim that this revenue will be sufficient to fund the Administration’s plans for the creation of new affordable housing. 

"New Yorkers who have chosen, and by their leases contracted, to live in residential buildings have the right to quiet enjoyment of that condition, and the protection of the laws that define such housing" according to Brewer.

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