Airbnb knows it needs to appease New York Governor Cuomo and legislators although it isn't clear that its removal of some multiple listings will be enough to achieve its aims.
Airbnb Inc. said it kicked 2,233 more listings off its platform in New York City, seeking to weed out hosts who violate its policies as New York Governor Andrew Cuomo weighs whether to sign legislation that would make it illegal to advertise multiple listings.
The 2,233 listings, which amount to about 5 percent of those on the home-sharing website in the city, “appeared to be hosts with multiple listings that could impact long-term housing availability,” Airbnb said Thursday in a statement.
Airbnb, which is raising money at a $30 billion valuation, is facing regulatory pressure from two of its largest U.S. cities, New York and its hometown San Francisco. Airbnb is suing San Francisco for passing a law that would fine the company for listing units that aren’t registered with the city. Airbnb argues the new requirements violate federal law and its First Amendment rights.
Officials in New York and San Francisco are concerned that Airbnb is causing housing to be taken off the market, further crowding the limited supply in those cities. Critics argue that houses that would otherwise be rented out or sold are being listed on Airbnb instead, creating more space for tourists at the expense of residents.
Airbnb had already booted 1,500 units off the platform in New York City in response to criticism, a spokesman said.
The company said 96 percent of New York City Airbnb hosts who rent out an entire home only advertise one listing on the platform. Airbnb said the median annual earnings from Airbnb rentals for a host in New York City is $5,474. In the year that ended June 1, 2016, 41,373 listings appeared on Airbnb in New York, the company said.
“Airbnb strongly opposes illegal hotels and continues to remove listings that appear to be controlled by commercial operators and do not reflect Airbnb’s vision for our community,” the company said in the statement.
©2016 Bloomberg L.P.
This article was written by Eric Newcomer from Bloomberg and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.
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Photo Credit: Supporters of Airbnb hold a rally outside City Hall in New York in January. Today the company removed a small portion of the illegal listings in the city. Bebeto Matthews / Associated Press