Airbnb agrees to give New York City short-term listings data
- Jun 3, 2019 | Jennifer Sokolowsky
Airbnb and New York City have been fighting legal battles about short-term rental data for years, with the city wanting Airbnb to hand over data about its listings for enforcement purposes, and Airbnb objecting.
The battle seems to be turning in New York City’s favor. In one instance, Airbnb has agreed to share listings data with the city. In another, a judge has ordered the short-term rental platform to do so.
On May 14, 2019, Airbnb agreed to supply partially anonymized data for more than 17,000 listings that were the subject of a subpoena the city issued to Airbnb in February. Airbnb also agreed to supply the city with de-anonymized data upon request from the city for listings that look like they may be illegal based on initial review.
The city issued the February subpoena after a federal judge issued an injunction against part of a new New York City law requiring short-term rental platforms to disclose identifying listing information as well as the total number of days the property was rented, fees that were paid, and whether hosts were renting out a whole home or just part of one. That injunction is separate from the recent agreement between the city and Airbnb.
On May 17, 2019, another judge ordered Airbnb to comply with four additional subpoenas requesting information about Airbnb listings.
The ruling and agreement could set precedents for other cities that would like Airbnb to share listings data in order to enforce short-term rental rules. Currently, many cities lack that data or must track it down themselves rather than obtaining it directly from Airbnb and other short-term rental platforms such as VRBO.
Under the New York State multiple dwelling law, short-term rentals are generally only allowed if the primary tenant lives in the apartment while paid guests stay there.
Short-term rental hosts are also required to collect lodging taxes from guests. Short-term rentals in New York City are subject to a New York City Hotel Room Occupancy Tax, which is collected by the city, while New York State collects state sales tax, New York city sales tax, and a Hotel Unit Fee of $1.50 per day on short-term rentals.
Since Airbnb, VRBO, and other vacation rental platforms don’t collect taxes on behalf of their hosts in New York City, hosts are responsible for registering with tax authorities, collecting lodging taxes from guests, and filing lodging tax returns.
MyLodgeTax can help New York City vacation rental hosts automate and simplify every step of their lodging tax obligations. For more on short-term rental taxes in New York State, see our Vacation Rental Tax Guide.