New York Targeting Local Airbnb Entrepreneurs

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman speaks during a news conference at the Justice Department on January 27, 2012 in Washington, DC.
“Pay us.” Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has subpoenaed user data from Airbnb about any and all New Yorkers who host guests in their overpriced apartments and may be dodging the requisite hotel taxes. “Specifically, we are looking for information about property managers or brokers who [are] skirting the law by renting multiple units, or people who rent their primary unit for large amounts of time throughout the year,” a source assured the New York Post. “We aren’t targeting the casual user who may rent their personal apartment out while [they] are on vacation or anything like that.” But in a post–Edward Snowden tech world, the company has to be careful with handing over user info.

We always want to work with governments to make the Airbnb community stronger, but at this point, this demand is unreasonably broad and we will fight it with everything we’ve got,” wrote David Hantman, Airbnb’s head of global public policy, in a blog post. The company has until today to comply.

We believe the Attorney General is only seeking to target an incredibly small number of bad actors who abuse the Airbnb platform,” Hantman continued. “That’s a goal we all share. Bad actors like illegal hotel operators and slumlords aren’t part of our vision and have no place on Airbnb and we hope we can work with State leaders to weed out these individuals.”

Behind the scenes, the Daily News reports, a government source claims, “AirBnB is actually saying the opposite in private, refusing to help crack down on Big Apple bad apples.” It’s not the first legal struggle the company has had in New York City, and it won’t be the last, but Airbnb insists, “We will never stop fighting for you.”


New York Targeting Local Airbnb Entrepreneurs