Hi - Airbnb just became illegal in my town which is really upsetting. We have many reservations for the rest of the year. Has this happened to any of you and if so .. How do you go about it?
Wow, @A32, what a major bummer!!! what exactly does the law say? Is it "retroactive" to existing reservations? I'd call Airbnb and also your town hall for clarification. I just checked and there are still plenty of places listed from Weehawken so I wouldn't take yours down just yet (you might "snooze" it for the time being) so that it doesn't come up in listings and you don't get more new reservations. In fairness to your current reservations, I'd let them know that this has happened so that they have time to rebook somewhere else more sensible.
Are the penalties for using Airbnb to rent out your place draconian, or could you live with them?
Also (and this is the tricky bit) does the law specifically mention Airbnb? could you shift to another site? I'm guessing they covered that base but you never know. I'd also quickly try to contact other Weehawken hosts to see what they are planning to do.... did this come out of the blue, or has it been in the works for a while? so sorry this has happened to you!
I host in Weehawken I just received a letter out of the blue a notice and order to abate violation ?? Specific violation use of property as Airbnb ? I never realised I was violating anything our house we bought is split into 2 apartments so we rent out top one as and when we don’t need it on Airbnb .. the letter does state ordinance 9-5-2 Permit required : no building or parts of building shall be used as a boarding house , rooming , lodging , furnished apartment or hotel before the person desiring such usemakes application
And received from the construction official a permit authorising this
so does this mean its now illegal or we or we just have to get a permit I presumed the latter
Very sorry. All hosts wonder when the heavy hand of small minded govenments will harm us.
HOUSING PEOPLE SHOULD NOT BE A CRIME!
You may choose to go "Underground". That is stop taking new reservations, but honor your current ones.
Do it discretely, don't create a nuisance and you might be OK (BTW I am NOT a lawyer)
In Seattle, we have a neurotic system. The city knows many illegal rental units exist in the city, however they usually do not shut them down. There is a shortage of housing here so the City is actually complicit in the continuation of illegal housing. Being illegal does not mean landlords will be thrown in jail, it merely means run a discrete rental and don't create problems. It also means landlords are at a disadvantage in a tenant dispute :(
Of course, I don't know your city, your neighbors or who you are, so freely ignore my blabbering.
You also can hope that your city will see the light in the future.
Isn't Airbnb illegal everywhere except for the few cities that have created a tax scheme with the government? People are running Airbnbs as long as neighbours don't complain.
@StayAtJandB0, why in the world would you think AirBnB is illegal everywhere except a few places that have laws that work with it?
What is the reasoning?
Do you think that everything is illegal unless someone passes a law specifically making it legal?
Most cities have laws regulating short term rental. Why do you think two Airbnb hosts are facing court cases in Singapore? Why do you think numerous hosts I know in Taipei have been fined? Airbnb gets around this by saying it's the hosts responsibility to reserch the rental laws in their cities.
Andrea, sorry to hear about your situation. Here are some suggestions:
1. When you say "just became illegal" I assume you meant your local government has passed a new law to ban short-term rentals. If so, look into how it was passed. Was there adequate notice of the meeting, consultations with local home owners, neighborhood associations, realtors, property managers, tourist associations etc?
2. Organize. Get together with other hosts. Form a group. Reach out to other groups or individuals opposing this ban (small businesses, chamer of commerce etc). Get statistics - how many hosts in your area, estimated contribution to local economy, estimated loss in taxes (if hosts are paying a "hotel tax"), are there adequate number of hotels in your area, etc.
3. Meet with your mayor and City Hall representatives and present your case for fair regulations (maybe a limit on number of nights allowed each year that most can live with) instead of a total ban, which is extreme.
4. Run for office yourself.
I was served a violation abate in Weehawken but it all seemed a tad fishy ? The violation was for fire code saying I needed a permit but the notice said using property for Airbnb ? Spoke to local town official who issued notice and he said they no longer issue permits so I can no longer let as a Airbnb or furnished ? Just spoke off record to a lawyer colleague who knows all about it and he was furious he said Weehawken had passed no law banning Airbnb and lots of properties still available to let in Weehawken
I just received a letter to abate. I snoozed my listing until I can find out more. A trip to township office was no help. They gave me a copy of ordinance for boarding house rules which doesn't mention airbnb or short term rentals. The inspector that signed the letter won't be in in until next week. I will talk to him and keep you posted
Hi John & Sylvia did you ever hear back on this, and also would you know what the current situation is like in North Bergen regards to that? Thanks