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Airbnb, NYC agree to end their fight over host data-sharing

Darpan News Desk The Canadian Press, 12 Jun, 2020 10:15 PM
  • Airbnb, NYC agree to end their fight over host data-sharing

Airbnb and New York City will settle their fight over a law that sought to limit housing rental increases by requiring short-term rental platforms to share information about their listings, the two sides announced Friday.

Under the agreement, the San Francisco-based Airbnb will dismiss its federal lawsuit against the city and the New York City Council will amend a 2018 law that required home-sharing platforms to provide detailed data on all their listings.

Under the amended law, home-sharing companies will still be required to provide information including addresses and names of hosts, but the law will apply only to listings that offer an entire home or that allow three or more guests to stay at one time.

The data will have to be provided on a quarterly basis, not monthly, as the local law originally required.

The law is intended to crack down on people who use Airbnb to run makeshift hotels. Critics say the de facto hotels push up rents for New Yorkers by diminishing available properties.

"Illegal hotel operators who flout the law at the expense of working New Yorkers have no place in our neighbourhoods,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement. “Finally, we’ll have the critical information we need to preserve affordable housing and keep our communities protected.”

Airbnb spokesman Christopher Lehane said, “We have long wanted to work with New York City on an effective regulatory framework, including information sharing — this agreement achieves that.”

Airbnb had sued the city over the broader data-sharing law it passed in 2018 that would have required information on all hosts, citing privacy concerns. A judge issued a preliminary injunction siding with Airbnb in 2019.

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