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Airbnb Vs. New York City Hearing Ends Without Ruling From Judge


Apr 22, 2014 4:15 pm

Skift Take

Until the judge rules, there is going to be a great deal of activity from Airbnb’s PR team, as well as its ‘grassroots’ group, Peers.

— Jason Clampet

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Judge Gerald W. Connolly adjourned a hearing without ruling today over whether Airbnb would have to comply with a subpoena from the New York Attorney General about its hosts’ activity in New York City.

The judge will issue a ruling in the coming days or weeks.

The Attorney General is seeking to compel Airbnb to provide the Attorney General’s office details about hosts in New York City who rent out their entire home for less than 30 days.

New York State’s short-term rental law prohibits people from renting out their entire home for less than 30 days at a time. Research by Skift and Connotate in February demonstrated that at least two thirds of all Airbnb hosts in New York City were likely breaking this law.

The Attorney General’s office used Skift’s research to respond to Airbnb’s request to quash the subpoena.

After the hearing adjourned, David Hantman, Airbnb’s Head of Global Policy, wrote the following on his company blog, “Today, the Attorney General again made it clear that he remains determined to comb through the personal information of thousands of regular New Yorkers just trying to make ends meet. We were proud to stand up for our hosts who share their homes and against this over-broad, government sponsored fishing expedition.”

Matt Mittenthal, spokesman for Attorney General Schneiderman, responded, “Despite all of Airbnb’s rhetoric, the company has never denied that substantial illegal activity is taking place on its site. To the contrary, Airbnb decided before our hearing to remove 2,000 listings posted by ‘bad actors’– hardly isolated cases. The Attorney General will continue to stand up for the law that protects building residents and tourists alike, and we await the judge’s decision.”

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