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New York City's Office of Special Enforcement has approved only 257 out of 3,250 short-term rental host registrations before the September 5 enforcement deadline.

New York City’s Office of Special Enforcement has approved only 257 out of 3,250 short-term rental host registrations before the September 5 enforcement deadline. Around 25% of the host applications submitted so far, or 808 applications, have been reviewed. 

Starting September 5, hosts could face fines of up to $5,000 or three times the revenue for a third violation, and their registrations could be revoked. Over 3,250 applications came after August 8, following a court’s dismissal of an Airbnb lawsuit challenging the registration rules. The city has denied 72 applications and returned 479 for corrections.

The city aims to collaborate with booking platforms to ensure they use the city’s verification system and halt unverified transactions. Around 10,157 landlord applications for a prohibited buildings list, indicating where short-term rentals are banned, are being processed. The list informs the city of rental agreements that already ban short-term rentals and will be used to deny registrations for hosts in those buildings.

New York City’s Short-Term Rental Registration Law, set to be enforced from September 5, mandates hosts to be present during stays, limit reservations to under 30 days, and disallows door locks on shared space bedrooms. Platforms like Airbnb, Vrbo, and must verify approved host registrations and file monthly transaction reports, facing fines for violations.

Earlier this month, A New York judge dismissed Airbnb’s lawsuit against New York City over legislation it called a “de facto ban” against short-term rentals. State court Justice Arlene Bluth in Manhattan said it was “inherently rational” for the city to require that hosts register with a local agency, as a means to reduce the thousands of illegal short-term rental listings.

Scottsdale Pushes for Limits

Scottsdale, Arizona is taking steps to regulate short-term rentals to meet neighborhood concerns.

The city unveiled three propositions aimed at curtailing the proliferation of short-term rentals within neighborhoods. These propositions have been submitted to the Arizona League of Cities and Towns, with the hope of integrating them into the legislative agenda for the upcoming 2024 Arizona Legislative session.

Over the past year, several cities in the Phoenix metro area have revamped regulations pertaining to short-term rental proprietors. These changes encompass requirements such as obtaining a city-issued license for each property, conducting background checks, including for sex offenders, on guests, and maintaining liability insurance. These proposals are a means to restore the quality of life in Scottsdale neighborhoods prior to the legislative action that lifted the city’s previous ban on short-term rentals.

Yescapa and Goboony Join Forces to Dominate European Leisure Vehicle Sharing Market

Yescapa and Goboony, campervan and motorhome rental agencies, have unveiled a merger plan along with a parallel fundraising endeavor of €7 million ($7.5 million), ShortTermRentalz reported. This move is intended to amplify their presence across Europe and break into fresh international markets. With aspirations of forming “the largest platform for sharing leisure vehicles in Europe,” both companies have consolidated their assets under a single parent holding company. Presently, Yescapa operates within France, Spain, Portugal, and French-speaking Belgium [Wallonia], while Goboony has a stronghold in the Netherlands, the UK, and Flemish Belgium.

The funding round was led by IXO Private, No Such Ventures, and MAIF Avenir, and the aim is enhance the merged companies’ growth trajectory. An even more substantial funding round, ranging from €15 million ($16 million) to €30 million ($32 million), is already in the pipeline and anticipated by the close of 2024. The goal is to add an additional 700,000 vehicles to this roster by 2025.

Hostaway Offers Smart Lock Integrations

Hostaway, a vacation rental property management software company, has introduced a feature that integrates and manages smart locks, eliminating the need for third-party software. Clients using the Hostaway platform to manage properties can add and oversee smart locks, integrating them with property listings. 

This technology enables property managers to remotely control door locking and unlocking, generate time-limited access codes for guests, staff, and maintenance, which are accessible through automated messaging and the Hostaway Guest Portal. 

Tomu Signs New Production Facility At Hagerstown Airport

Tomu, a company focused on sustainable hospitality development, has announced that it has secured a new production facility situated at the historic Hagerstown Regional Airport in Maryland. This will help Tomu enhance its manufacturing capabilities and commence mass production of its modular building products by the third quarter of 2023.

Utilizing its modular building system, Tomu designs and constructs prefabricated guest rooms for the hospitality sector, addressing the growing demand from travelers for more diverse and eco-friendly travel choices. The guest units offered by Tomu are available in pre-designed and customizable options, providing both independent and franchised hotel operators a means to streamline project development timelines and reduce ongoing operational expenses.

Elsewhere on Skift

Private equity firm KSL announced its intention to acquire Hersha Hospitality Trust, a company that owns 25 lifestyle and luxury hotels in the U.S., in an all-cash transaction valued at around $1.4 billion. This proposed acquisition would take Hersha private, offering shareholders an approximate 60% premium over the real-estate investment trust’s closing stock price from the previous Friday.

Pending shareholder approval, the deal is set to be finalized by the end of the year. The transaction’s value equates to approximately 14 times Hersha’s estimated year-to-date earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) of $99 million for 2023, as reported by S&P Capital IQ.

“Smaller owners of hotels are finding it tough to compete against giant players like Host. The Hersha takeover may not be the last opportunistic move by private equity we see in the lifestyle hotel segment,” writes Skift’s Sean O’Neill.

KSL Buys Hersha Hospitality for $1.4 Billion in Private Equity Bet on Lifestyle Hotels

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Tags: nyc, sstrr

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