Airbnb drops NYC lawsuit after agreement on short-term rental law enforcement

airbnb nyc lawsuit settled
It’s official: New York City and Airbnb will work together. The hosting company agreed to terms of enforcement of a short-term apartment rental law by New York City and dropped a lawsuit against the city that was filed in October, according to Reuters.

The law, passed by the New York state legislature in June but remaining unsigned by Governor Andrew Cuomo until October, called for fines up to $7,500 for property owners who advertised short-term apartment rentals in buildings of “three or more units.” So it doesn’t apply to someone renting a single room in their home, a basement apartment in a single family home, or even to half of a two-family home. The law was meant for listings on Airbnb and other peer-to-peer sites that had multiple units for rent in what were clearly commercial arrangements and considered “illegal hotels.”

More: Airbnb files federal lawsuit after passage of prohibitive New York bill

Airbnb filed suit because it believed the law’s wording was not clear enough to protect online platforms such as itself, which could not be held responsible for landlords who broke the law. If the listing services were charged, the risks of fines and liability would be more than the companies could bear.

In settling the suit, the city agreed it would focus on individual property owners who violated the law, not the listing companies. New York state attorney general Eric Schneiderman had said the state would not enforce the law, leaving enforcement to the city.

New York City mayor’s office spokesperson Melissa Grace said, “The city will enforce this and other existing laws against bad actors, and appreciates the additional enforcement powers this new tool provides to protect New Yorkers and visitors from unsafe conditions.”

Airbnb agreed, citing the agreement as a way to reassure listing hosts while complying with the law. “We look forward to using this as a basis to finding an approach that protects responsible New Yorkers while cracking down on illegal hotels that remove permanent housing off the market or create unsafe spaces,” Airbnb said.

Home Theater

Spotify Premium cribs from Pandora with new Endless Artist Radio feature

As Pandora continues to catch up to Spotify in terms of the features it offers, Spotify is returning the favor, adding Endless Artist Radio for Premium subscribers as well as other features such as newly streamlined navigation.
Smart Home

These awesome treehouses will make you question life on solid ground

Check out these truly awesome treehouses from around the world. From a three-story treehouse in the Costa Rican jungle to a mirrored cube hidden among the trees of Sweden, we’ve got you covered.
Movies & TV

Stay inside this summer with the best shows on Hulu, including 'Castle Rock'

It's often overwhelming to navigate Hulu's robust library of TV shows. To help, we've put together a list of the best shows on Hulu, whether you're into frenetic cartoons, intelligent dramas, or anything in between.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix in October, from 'Mindhunter’ to ‘The Good Place’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Photography

Apple acquisition points to possibility of easy background removal in photos

According to a Danish newspaper, Apple now owns a company that uses machine learning to remove or replace the background on photos and videos. Spektral's website says it is working to bring the A.I. background removal to smartphones.
Cars

Going my way? Waze takes its carpooling service nationwide

Following a tentative rollout over the last two years, Waze is now expanding its carpooling service to all 50 states, offering drivers a chance to fill their spare seats with riders heading in the same direction.
Business

Singapore reclaims longest flight, but could you sit on a plane for that long?

Singapore Airlines has reclaimed the record for the world's longest commercial flight with a service it scrapped five years ago. The first flight takes off from Singapore on Thursday and takes nearly 19 hours to reach New York.
Movies & TV

‘Venom’ devours the box office competition with monstrous second weekend

Sony Pictures anti-superhero movie Venom won the weekend box office for the second straight week, beating musical drama A Star is Born, as well as three new releases that made it into the weekend's top ten movies.
Mobile

OnePlus charges into U.K. carrier stores, leaving online-only start in the past

OnePlus's next phone, the OnePlus 6T, will be more widely available than any OnePlus phone before it, as the company has announced major deals with retailers in the U.K. The device launches on October 30.
Home Theater

Apple Music recommendations could get superpowers thanks to latest acquisition

Following the approval of its Shazam acquisition, a new report has surfaced saying that Apple has acquired music analytics firm Asaii, with its founders now members of the Apple Music team.
Mobile

Google will start charging Android manufacturers to use its apps in Europe

Google announced that it will be charging Android device manufacturers in Europe a licensing fee to use its apps and services. The announcement comes as an effort to comply with new European Commission regulations.
Emerging Tech

This gadget lets you sleep on airplanes without snuggling a stranger

Odd gadget, or a hug for your face? The Napup Fly+ is a travel pillow, sleep mask, and personal speaker system all rolled into one, attached to the back of the headrest to hold your head up.
Smart Home

Amazon has an even dozen new smart devices. Here’s how to order

Amazon's hardware announcement meant a whole bunch of new Amazon Alexa gadgets. From a microwave to stereo equipment, here is the complete list of devices that were announced, as well as reviews for some.
Deals

The best accounting software for your small business

Small business owners looking for accounting software have a variety of options at their disposal. And this guide will help them find the best solutions, from Quickbooks Online and Freshbooks to AccountEdge and Zoho Books.