I booked an Airbnb accomodation for a 9 days stay for 2 people in september 2023. I didn't know what the regulations of the city where at the time, and now I'm worried.

The accomodation seems to be a full flat in a 5 stories building.

If such a stay is illegal, why does Airbnb allow hosts to offer it ?

What do I risk if I do not cancel my booking ?

  • 5
    The “why” is that AirBnb will allow anything until the city takes action against AirBnb themselves. Which seems to be the next step.
    – jcaron
    Mar 18 at 15:02
  • 3
    I didn't know what the regulations of the city where at the time Which regulations are you talking about?
    – Clockwork
    Mar 18 at 19:53
  • 2
    @Clockwork NYC has passed a new law that requires Airbnb and similar services to tell NYC about most short-term rentals they handle. There are long-standing restrictions in place against renting apartments in residential buildings for terms shorter than 30 days. There's more information available at airbnb.com/help/article/868
    – phoog
    Mar 19 at 16:17

1 Answer 1


Airbnb is not completely illegal in NYC: they can legally do short-term rentals in "properties where no more than two people are hosted, the host resides in the dwelling unit, and where guests have access to all parts of the dwelling unit, according to the city" (Guardian)

Since you're renting a full flat, presumably your host "resides" there on paper as a way to skirt the law. Odds are the biggest risk to you personally is this that Airbnb preemptively sweeps sketchy-looking listings off the site, but if this happens you would get a full refund. However, you will still need to find a new place to stay at short notice.

  • 3
    Or that the host decides the risk is too great and cancels, or the city (which is apparently starting to enforce the existing rule more aggressively) finds out about it and forces the host to cancel. The end result is the same though (need to find a new place at the last minute), but with the added risk that it could become more difficult or take longer to get a refund.
    – jcaron
    Mar 18 at 15:01
  • "presumably your host "resides" there on paper as a way to skirt the law": there is ni residence registration in New York (nor anywhere else in tbe US that I'm aware of) so, while the host may be prepared to argue that he or she resides there, it's not quite apropos to say "on paper." (Furthermore, it's possible that the host actually does reside there.)
    – phoog
    Mar 19 at 16:09
  • 1
    I ended up cancelling my reservation and booking an hotel room, it seemed safer
    – R.Duteil
    Mar 19 at 16:48
  • @R.Duteil Good call, Airbnb renters in New York are running into trouble now: travel.stackexchange.com/questions/183240/… Aug 31 at 11:21

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