Will New York’s Strict Short-Term Rental Rules Work?

Some owners are reluctant to put short-term rental units back on the long-term rental market, but the number of permitted units has dropped dramatically.

2 minute read

December 5, 2023, 6:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


Facade of brick multistory apartment buildings in New York City with fire scapes.

deberarr / Adobe Stock

City leaders from around the country are watching New York City’s crackdown on short-term rentals, most of which were operating illegally for years until the city recently launched an effort to register properties and enforce strict regulations. 

As Robbie Sequeira reports in Stateline, while many cities have imposed a variety of regulations on STRs, New York’s new rules go further than most, severely limiting the number of owners who can keep their units on the short-term market legally. “Hosts can get city approval to offer short-term rentals only if they are on the premises during the visitors’ stay, and if the number of guests is limited to two. That’s expected to severely limit the number of available rentals, since few hosts are willing to meet those requirements.” Meanwhile, “some state legislatures have protected Airbnb and property owners by forbidding certain city or county regulations.”

It remains to be seen if the approach will make a dent in the city’s long-term rental housing shortage. In August, Airbnb alone listed almost 22,000 short-term units. According to the city, the number of registered STRs was 800 at the beginning of December, but some owners continue listing their properties on alternative websites. “Jorge González, a researcher with the Urban Institute, a nonprofit think tank, said the success of New York’s crackdown will depend on whether hotels can pick up the slack.”

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