The dispute between sharing accommodation providers and the New York City authorities has taken a new twist with the City Council recently announcing that it is to seek new powers to compel sharing economy hosts to disclose the names and addresses of all their listings and other information, for example, whether the whole or just part of the property is let and whether the property is the owner’s primary residence.
This relatively simple detail will allow the City’s enforcement agency to implement existing state legislation, including rules that those letting the US equivalent of social housing (rent regulated apartments) are to seek permission before sub letting and a rather inconvenient ban on them profiting from doing so. Similar moves in San Francisco are cited as almost halving listings when it came into force in January 2018. Not unsurprisingly major platform providers, like Airbnb, are challenging the proposals and the rational and research behind it.
Like many similar restrictions proposed or imposed in several world class destinations of late, the principal concerns appear to be the alleged negative impacts on the supply and affordability of long let accommodation for residents, rather than the more mundane concerns that some of us may have relating to the application of appropriate safety and other regulatory standards in the sharing accommodation market. Maintenance of level regulatory playing field for all those providing commercial, as opposed to truly occasionally shared, accommodation may be a major concern for parts of the tourism industry but at the local, often more politically driven level, the impacts on the housing market for voting residents seems to be the more immediately pressing concern.
That being the case perhaps a little more emphasis on the housing impacts might help bring some urgently needed improvement on the more directly tourism related issues here in the UK? The All Part Parliamentary Group on Tourism’s inquiry in to the sharing economy is still developing its main report for publication in the summer. I will make sure its raised again with them, perhaps from the point of view point of maintaining affordable accommodation for tourism industry workforce, especially in popular destinations?
Articles on the latest developments in New York and past articles on others, including San Francisco can be found on our “Sharing economy” page accessible from the main menu at Britishdestinations.net or go direct to the page at: https://britishdestinations.net/tourism-the-sharing-economy-and-its-wider-implications/