New York City government officials have for years attempted to regulate what they say is rampant illegal activity on the platform, but on January 3, a federal judge blocked a law that would have allowed the city to crack down on Airbnb and other short-term listing sites.
The law, which would have gone into effect in February, required the websites to provide officials with hosts’ addresses and identities, but the platforms claimed it violated hosts’ Fourth Amendment right against illegal searches. They also said the law doesn’t distinguish between those homeowners looking to supplement their income, and commercial operators. Commercial operators make up 12% of New York City’s total host population, but profited from 28% of all homesharing revenue on the sites.
The judge’s agreement represents a decisive victory for Airbnb.