Can You Rent Your NYC Home on Airbnb?


Do you own a home in New York City? Thousands of people travel to NYC every year to experience the atmosphere and culture of the world’s most famous city. Tourism gives you, as a property owner, an opportunity to make money by renting out property to tourists that are willing to pay higher rentals for your apartment or single-family home.

However, New York City recently passed some new laws into legislation that prevent landlords from renting out their property under certain conditions. In some cases, people you rented their apartments to tourists were fined large sums by the local government for violating these new laws.

Here is everything you need to know about letting out your NYC property on Airbnb.

Overview of Restrictions

The New York State Multiple Dwelling Law stipulates that it is illegal to either advertise or rent your unit for a period of fewer than thirty days if the unit is in a building with three or more units unless the landlord is present during the rental period.

The multiple dwelling law, however, doesn’t apply in the same way to private family houses. This loophole means that you will be able to circumvent the law in this instance. However, you may find it challenging to list your home on Airbnb as the moderators may take it down.

The zoning of the residential property would have to be altered to a rooming house for it to be considered legal. This classification allows for rentals of shorter periods than thirty days. The Multi-Dwelling Law may also need specific aspects of the home to meet proper building code associated with the zoning.

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When it comes to the private sector, many co-op and condo boards have chosen to enforce the law as well, using their own set of body corporate laws to prevent residents from listing their property on Airbnb.

Fines for Owners

The City of New York has begun to fine owners or real estate that do not live up to the certificates of occupancy for their homes. You can avoid falling into this kind of trouble by looking up the certificate of occupancy for your home or apartment with the Department of Buildings. If you wish to rent your property out to short-term vacationers, then you must have the certificate of occupancy altered by the Department of Buildings.

This task can take a lot of time, paperwork, and legal fees before you are legally allowed to rent out your real estate to short-term clients. The Department of Buildings will require you hire an architect or engineer to complete a structural assessment of your property to see if it meets the requirements of a rooming house.

If you do manage to have your certificate of occupancy updated to a rooming house, then you should be good to go and hire an NYC cleaning company to clean the apartment and begin to advertise your property to potential clients. However, it’s important to note that your insurance policy may not cover your property if you change your certificate of occupancy status. Call your insurance broker to have your policy amended before you hire advertise your property for rent.

Closing Off

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The risk factors to renting your apartment or single-family home out in New York City make seem somewhat intimidating, especially when you consider that the city imposes a tax on short-term rentals as well. Before you get started in your Airbnb endeavors, make sure that you are complying with the law.

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