A new city law for short-term rentals in the city took effect Tuesday. 

Local Law 18, also known as the Short-Term Rental Registration Law, requires hosts on Airbnb, VRBO, Booking.com and other platforms to register with the Mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement.

What You Need To Know

  • A new city law for short-term rentals in the city took effect Tuesday

  •  Local Law 18 requires short-term rental hosts to register with the city

  • Some of the requirements include the host to live in the dwelling, can only have up to two guests and the guests must have unrestricted access to all rooms in the unit

“We feel sort of anxious as a group,” Aubrey Eric Smith, a short-term rental host and member of RHOAR NYC, also known as Restore Homeowner Autonomy and Rights, said.

Smith has rented out short-term rental space in his apartment since 2011. He said he’s waiting for the Mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement to approve to register him as a host.

“My application is about 800. My friend applied two houses down. His number is 9,000, almost 10,000,” Smith said.

Under the law, no more than two guests can stay in a space for less than 30 days. Guests must have full unrestricted access to the dwelling.

In other words: no locked doors. The resident of the dwelling also must be present.

Smith meets all of these requirements. He lives in his townhome.  

“We are not aggressively saying there is something wrong with this law, we understand why. We think there may be some modifications for us doing it the right way,” Smith said.

He said he hopes the new law gets rid of the bad actors on the rental platforms.

Smith said some hosts abuse the system.

“There is more of a problem in higher income groups taking two and three or four-family homes and making them into McMansions one family home. That way you are taking away three, four, five apartments,” Smith said.

But for him as a host, he said it is something he relies on financially.

“It definitely helped me pay my mortgage. It definitely helped me get by,” Smith said.

In a statement obtained by NY1, Airbnb said: “New York City’s new short-term rental rules are a blow to its tourism economy and the thousands of New Yorkers and small businesses in the outer boroughs who rely on home sharing and tourism dollars to help make ends meet.”

The Mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement said: “Registration creates a clear path for hosts who follow the city’s longstanding laws and protects travelers from illegal and unsafe accommodations, while ending the proliferation of illegal short-term rentals.”

As for Smith, he will continue waiting to get approved by the city.

At this time, Airbnb has blocked off calendar dates past Sept. 5, if they were not already booked.  Hosts who don’t comply with the new law can face fines up to $5,000, according to city officials.