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Airbnb in the Big Apple just got a little more complicated.

Jess McHugh
October 24, 2016

On Friday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill into law that cracks down on the advertisement of illegal Airbnb listings. The law is especially important for New York City, one of Airbnb's largest markets.

The law targets listings for entire apartments available to rent for less than 30 days—properties that were already illegal to rent under a multiple dwelling law. Local hoteliers, politicians, and affordable housing advocates have hailed this most recent piece of legislation as a victory.

“Airbnb consistently undermines the City's efforts to preserve affordable housing, and regularly attempts to thwart regulations put in place to protect New York City residents,” read a statement shared with Travel + Leisure from New York city council members Helen Rosenthal and Jumaane Williams. “Despite claims to self-regulate and crack down on illegal listings, Airbnb continues to be complacent in the illegal practices of over half of their hosts.”

In 2014, the New York state attorney general's office released a report on Airbnb listings that found 72 percent of reservations made in New York City were illegal.

Airbnb announced that it would sue both the New York attorney general and the mayor of New York City following the passage of the law announced Friday, saying the law would cause “irreparable harm.”

“In typical fashion, Albany back-room dealing rewarded a special interest—the price-gouging hotel industry—and ignored the voices of tens of thousands of New Yorkers,” said Josh Meltzer, head of Airbnb’s New York public policy, The New York Times reported.

In the meantime, here is what the new law means to you.

What This Means For Travelers

For short-term travelers to New York, the law will impose certain limits on what kind of property visitors can rent. It means that weekend travelers or anyone staying in the city or state for less than a month cannot rent an entire house or apartment in buildings with three or more units.

They can, however, rent out individual rooms, couches or other shared living arrangements for short time periods, as well as row houses that have fewer than three apartments in the building.

What This Means For Hosts

The law aims to prevent hosts from running illegal hotel businesses. To avoid fees, hosts in large apartment buildings can only rent rooms or beds in their houses, not their entire apartment, unless the rental period is for longer than 30 days. The law will not affect those hosts who rent entire homes or row houses.

First violations will cost a host $1,000 with fines escalating with each subsequent infraction, up to $7,500, CBS reported.

This change is a departure from past laws where only landlords of the building were fined for violations of the apartment rental regulations.

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