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Friday, October 21, 2016

Liberal Cuomo passes anti-Airbnb bill: shades of Uber

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is a left-wing liberal who, like all liberals, pretends to be on the side of the "little guy." But if you rent out space in your New York apartment through Airbnb, you can be fined up to $7,500. 

The punishment applies to rentals less than 30 days when the owner or tenant is not present. 

Cuomo caved to the pressure from the hotel industry and now the bill has become law. The "little guy" can no longer make a few dollars from renting out space, nor can the client save money from not having to pay extravagant hotel bills.

Many property owners (aka "little guys") use Airbnb and similar websites to rent their apartments to short-term visitors, while taking residential units off the high-priced housing market.

Another liberal, Sen. Liz Krueger of Manhattan, said "Today is a great day for tenants, seniors, and anyone who values the safe and quiet enjoyment of their homes and neighborhoods." 

"For too long companies like Airbnb have encouraged illegal activity that takes housing off the market and makes our affordability crisis worse," she said.

To enforce this law will be like trying to enforce a law that demands left-handed tenants have cupboard doors that open left-to-right. 

There has been a law on the books since 2010 that prohibits rentals of less than 30 days when the owner or tenant is not present, but try enforcing it.

Luckily there are people and landlords who are more than willing to turn in their neighbors who violate this law, and the state could monitor the website to find potential violations--they can call the state workers "The Big Brother Brigade."

The new law does not apply to rentals in single-family homes, row houses or to spare rooms in apartments if the resident is present, but it does apply to condos and co-ops.

Airbnb tried to kill the measure, suggesting alternative regulations to address concerns over short-term rentals without imposing huge fines, but it didn't work.

People who rent out their space on Airbnb are just trying to make a little money while they're out of town, but if the government can get in there and screw things up for the "little guy," that's what they're going to do. It's like the scorpion and frog crossing the stream.

Those who get caught violating the state law and list their apartments for less than 30 day rentals, will face a fine of $1,000 for the first offense; $5,000 for the second; and $7,500 for the third.

"I'm from the government, and I'm here to help."

Here to help the "big guy."