Just when you thought it was safe to get back to AirBnBing that creepy empty room in your apartment, the service is heading to another showdown with the New York State government. Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is demanding the site turn over all of its user data in an attempt to find which of its users are just renting out empty apartments for weeks on end, which is a violation of state law. And in the case of drunken Europeans, a violation of good taste.
If you’re a small-time user of the site, you probably don’t have to worry about it. The attorney general’s office wants to data to see if they can pin down people who rent their entire apartment for weeks at a time. Or, as put eloquently by a source to the Daily News, “A drunk European for one week is one thing…If you have to live with it 40 weeks a year, that’s a big difference.”
As we all know, the state’s Environmental Control Board said you’re not breaking the law by letting people stay short-term in an empty room in your apartment. It’s still illegal to rent vacant apartments on a short-term basis though, which is what Schneiderman is convinced many AirBnB users are doing at the moment. Schneiderman is also concerned that landlords are bouncing people from rent regulated apartments to rent the places our short-term as well. So if you’re a shady landlord and you’re reading this for some reason, now is the time to hustle drunken dudes from Portugal out of your apartments.