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New York Government, Hotels Officially Start Legal Battle Against Airbnb

October 17, 2013 at 9:57 AM | by | ()

Back in the spring, we took an in-depth look at Airbnb and its appeal to travelers. We saw how its affordability might become a threat to higher-priced hotels, and we wondered how the industry would respond to the up and coming competition. Travelers, it seems, are really liking the idea of playing house at someone else's place, especially when it costs significantly less than a hotel.

Well, it looks like the City of New York has the hotel industry's back. According to the Associated Press, the city is tired of losing what it could be gaining in lodging tax if Airbnb users stayed at hotels, and last week Attorney General Eric Schneiderman demanded the company turn over a list of residents who are using the site on the basis that they are breaking a state law by renting out their apartments. In New York, it is illegal for someone to sublet their apartment for less than 30 days if they are not also present.

Man, this one is going to get ugly, as Airbnb is a fan favorite with the general population to say the least, and has saved travelers mucho dinero across the globe. But when it comes at the expense of the government, we all know how that story ends.

We will be sure to follow along with this one as the punches are thrown. It should be a good one, and its fallout will certainly have implications going forward as it relates to lodging options not only in the Big Apple, but in other cities looking to take down the growing people-to-people connection that seems to be getting in the way of hotel profits.

Are you an Airbnb user or host? What do you make of NYC's stance against Airbnb? Sound off in comments below!

[Screengrab: HotelChatter]

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