New York City by-law enforcement officers recently issued 27 notices of violation for illegal hotel use to 20-unit owners in a luxury condo tower.
New York State‘s Multiple Dwelling Law prohibits rentals for fewer than 30 days in multiple unit buildings unless a “permanent resident” is present during the rental period. Some of the unit owners had constructed illegal partitions to create more rooms to rent out in the unit. Included in the group of owners who were issued notices of violation were two members of the condo board. Apparently, condo permanent residents had documented the comings and goings of short-term renters and had provided the City with a list of units suspected of being used for short-term rentals. It was reported that this was the biggest raid on individual unit owners and involved the most officers in one raid.
A new New York City law will be going into effect in February, 2019 which will require short-term rental platforms to report to the City on a monthly basis the names and contact information of short-term rental hosts, as well as the number of days the unit was rented out, how much the unit was rented for and whether hosts are renting all or part of the unit. This new law will help the City in its efforts to eliminate illegal short-term rentals.
Governments world-wide are grappling with how to deal with short-term rentals that have become so prolific, and the resulting problems that have ensued:
- shortage of affordable housing units for permanent residents;
- residential condo buildings becoming de facto hotels with a constant stream of strangers coming and going to the chagrin of permanent residents for whom the condominium is their home;
- unfair playing fields for hotels;
- missed tax revenues for municipalities as a result of hosts and short-term rental platforms not collecting and remitting accommodation taxes.
Most governments have realized that short-term rentals are here to stay and that rather than trying to ban them outright, it makes more sense for governments to enact laws that regulate short-term rentals.
About a year ago the City of Toronto enacted new regulations to regulate short-term rentals. Short-term rental platform companies must obtain a licence and rental hosts are required to register with the City and pay a Municipal Accommodation Tax of 4%. However, those regulations were appealed to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal. As the hearing of that appeal is now scheduled for August of 2019, it will be some time before we see any short-term regulations in place in the City of Toronto. Meanwhile, the City of Toronto has taken the position that short-term rentals are currently not permitted in the City of Toronto, but obviously hosts continue to engage in short-term rentals and condominium corporations which permit short term rentals in their Declarations, continue to allow short term use until such time as there is more clarification from the City of Toronto.
For a copy of Lash Condo Law’s Short Term Rental Guide click here.