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New York AG seeks Airbnb's NYC sublet information

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 23, 2014 at 9:35 am •  Published: April 23, 2014

In an affidavit Connolly rejected Tuesday as filed too late, a researcher for the attorney general said Airbnb listed 19,522 city rentals Jan. 31, from 15,677 apparently separate hosts, nearly all for less than 30 days. Almost 64 percent were for the entire apartment, indicating the host would be absent.

The law prohibits owners or renters of apartments in multi-unit buildings from renting them for less than 30 days unless they remain present. The law permits having boarders or renting rooms.

"Despite all of AirBnb's rhetoric, the company has never denied that substantial illegal activity is taking place on its site," Schneiderman spokesman Matt Mittenhall said late Tuesday. "To the contrary, Airbnb decided before our hearing to remove 2,000 listings posted by 'bad actors' — hardly isolated cases. The Attorney General will continue to stand up for the law that protects building residents and tourists alike, and we await the judge's decision."

Authorities say the goal is to prevent a host of short-term strangers and transients from renting city apartments meant for permanent residents and from unfairly competing with hotels. In court papers, Assistant Attorney General Clark Russell said police have received "numerous complaints" about illegal rentals, which has been confirmed by the attorney general's investigation.