Is New York City’s Rental Rule Change Transforming It into a Squatter’s Paradise?

New York City, America’s largest metropolis, is on the brink of a potential real estate crisis.

The city’s recent enforcement of new regulations on short-term rentals could inadvertently create a breeding ground for misuse, particularly when considering state-wide squatter’s rights. This alarming insight comes from Dean Roberts, a seasoned real estate attorney.

The Big Apple has recently begun enforcing restrictions on rentals for periods less than 30 days. This move could significantly reduce the number of short-term listings across the city.

As a result, hosts may be compelled to rent out units for a month at a time. However, this could backfire if guests attempt to exploit the state’s squatter’s rights that come into effect after 30 days.

Roberts, a lawyer with Norris McLaughlin & Marcus, warns, “Anybody who’s using Airbnb to rent out for 30 days is seriously playing with fire. These regulations will create issues and opportunities for misuse.”

His concern stems from the fact that anyone residing on a property for 30 days or more becomes a legal tenant under New York state law. After this period, landlords could face a complex and lengthy legal process to evict the squatter.

The new rules were introduced as part of Local Law 18, or the Short-Term Rental Registration Law, which came into effect on September 5.

The law mandates hosts to register any rentals shorter than 30 days with the mayor’s office. It also prohibits booking platforms like Airbnb, Vrbo, and from processing transactions for unregistered short-term rentals.

However, the enforcement of these rules has been met with resistance. In the months leading up to the enforcement date, over 3,800 short-term rental registration applications were filed to the city, but less than 300 were approved by September 5.

This led to concerns that the policy could effectively evolve into a ban, making Airbnb’s business model impractical in New York.

Roberts, who has over 30 years of experience in real estate, believes that these regulations will incentivize people to misuse the system. He says, “What that will also do is create incentives for people to misuse the system, especially the 30-day issue, to try to hold over.”

The new rules are aimed at curbing the growing number of landlords who exclusively rent their apartments to short-term visitors instead of leasing them to New York City residents.

However, Roberts warns the regulations could have unintended consequences. He predicts families looking for weekend apartment rentals or landlords hoping to capitalize on the city’s tourism will find ways to circumvent the rules.

While the new regulations seek to stabilize the city’s rental market and benefit long-term renters, they may inadvertently create a squatter’s paradise. As New York City navigates this complex issue, it remains to be seen how these changes will impact the city’s real estate landscape.

This article appeared in The Patriot Brief and has been published here with permission.

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Written by Western Reader

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