Airbnb announced that New York City has reversed a fee of $2,400 that was paid as a fine by a man who had rented out a room in his apartment through the vacation site, which allows people to rent out their apartments short-term, according to FOX News.
Nigel Warren was fined after a judge in New York found that he violated a state law that prohibits short-term rentals. Warren and his landlord appealed the ruling, and the Environmental Control Board sided with them in the appeal, agreeing with them that short-term rentals are permitted as long as a permanent occupant is present. At the time of the Airbnb rental, Warren wasn't present, but his roommate was.
New York is one of Airbnb's biggest markets, though its users are now facing legal action after a law was passed that targets large companies that convert entire apartment buildings into what are essentially illegal hotels. Lawmakers in New York insist that they aren't targeting individuals, according to FOX.
Sen. Liz Krueger has said that the problem is companies like Airbnb that use the same share economy business model don't educate their users of the potential consequences of their actions. Krueger sponsored the law in 2010 that prevents short-term rentals that are less than 30 days.
"I am open to discussing good-faith efforts to improve our law, but the only proposals that have been put forward so far would gut the law, making it practically unenforceable and leaving New Yorkers without any recourse against illegal hotel operations compromising the safety and security of their homes," Krueger said in a statement.
Airbnb posted a response on their blog saying the episode "highlights how complicated the New York law is."
The company will continue to "work to clarify the law and ensure New Yorkers can share their homes" with travelers.
The company currently operates in 192 countries.
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