NY AG hits AirBnB with subpoena for user data on all hosts in NYC


I cant decide if AirBNB type services should be regulated or not. On the one hand, the government shouldn’t interfere with private citizens making private arrangements together, on the other when you get slumlords renting out apartments this way everyone suffers. How to balance the two?


This is just the hotel lobby fighting against a disruptive business model.

Heh. Hotel lobby.


I’m not sure that AirBnB specifically needs to be regulated, most places already have regulation in place. In this case, it looks like the AG is just trying to crack down on the illegal rentals (if any are legal in NYC). In my state, it’s legal, but you have to get a special hotel/hospitality license and pay taxes as such. When last I checked, it’d be around $2k a year, so it’s not worth it unless you’re serious about making money with the service.

AirBnB is a great service for a lot of people, as David Byrne points out, living in New York is damned expensive, so leaving a place empty and unused while you’re away is an insane waste of an incredible valuable resource. I know people who make a loooooot of money on it, enough that would definitely make $2k in taxes a year well worth it, considering that’s 1 month of rent in a “meh” neighborhood for a lot of folks. I definitely see the potential for abuse if it’s entirely unregulated. The noise and nuisance complaints alone for people who have no accountability to the building is a valid concern that does expend law enforcement effort. On top of that there are definitely incentives embedded in this system that could lead to reduced affordable housing. However, subletting and micro-subletting (?) are an unstoppable force, and just rounding up the info on all the micro-landlords (?) as step one seems like overkill. It’s also unclear HOW much of a problem these problems are at this point. the case must be made for regulation and intervention, not assumed. Just respond to and track complaints, then use real data to make the case for regulation.


Pffft. You’ll get nowhere with that attitude.

Onward with the criminalization of American society!

First the Attorney General went after astroturfing (does he realize that the vast majority of product reviews on Amazon are fake? let’s hope he gets them all!); and now he’s cracking down on the “sharing” economy (ha-ha!) to reestablish social and economic order. He should join forces with the Manhattan district attorney, who has found some excellent ways of criminalizing unwanted satire under New York’s well-drafted fraud statutes (forgery, identity theft, etc.). Maybe together they can find some more crimes to prosecute Essam Attia with for his fake “NYPD drone” ads. If it’s fake, count on it being a crime in New York.

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Schneiderman is a hack and sellout to big business. He sold the American people out in the “mortgage settlement” that basically allowed the banks to continue committing massive fraud on the courts and stealing people’s houses in exchange for a slap on the wrist. The “historic” settlement was mostly hot air and funny money, and fully protected the banks for their ongoing crimes. Now he choses to hunt down people who temporarily rent out their apartments to travelers on behalf of the hotel industry.

Brave AG Eric Schneiderman, protecting big business and shafting regular people since 2010. What a tool.

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