Thought Leadership

New NYC Law Creates “Prohibited Buildings List” for AirBnb and Similar Booking Services

March 20, 2023 Advisory

In NYC, short term rentals—that is, those for less than 30 consecutive days—are prohibited by law in most apartment buildings unless the apartment owner or named tenant on the lease (“apartment owner”) remains in occupancy. To strengthen the enforcement of this restriction, effective March 6, 2023, Local Law 18, also known as the Short-Term Rental Registration law, regulates listing services such as AirBnB by prohibiting them from posting short-term rentals unless the apartment is registered with the City by the apartment owner, who must certify that they will remain in occupancy and meet certain other criteria. Importantly, the law also allows buildings to register on a “Prohibited Buildings List.” Registration on this list will block an individual apartment owner from registering their apartment and thereby preempt their ability to post their apartment on AirBnB and similar booking services. 

To be placed on the Prohibited Buildings List, Boards or building owners must, among other things, certify that leases or other occupancy agreements prohibit short-term rentals. While in the case of cooperatives and condominiums it will depend on the building’s governing documents, we believe that Boards can generally rely on the use and subleasing/leasing provisions in the proprietary lease (for cooperatives) and by-laws (for condominiums). In the absence of a specific short-term restriction, we recommend that Boards wishing to register their building adopt a resolution prohibiting short-term rentals where the apartment owner does not remain in occupancy. The Prohibited Buildings List registration form may be accessed here.

Under NYS’s roommate law (RPL 235-f), certain apartment owners may be entitled to have one or more additional occupants reside in their apartment with them without regard to the duration of the occupancy and regardless of what the governing documents state. The Short-Term Rental Registration Law does not modify an apartment owner’s right to a roommate, but it does prohibit the use of booking services if the building is registered on the Prohibited Buildings List.

Cooperatives and condominiums can benefit by placing themselves on the Prohibited Buildings List. If they do, the Office of Special Enforcement (OSE) will refuse to provide a registration number to individual apartment owners, who will then not be permitted to advertise their apartments through the booking services.

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