With new rules affecting Airbnb, where to sleep in New York?
US-bound travellers planning to rent an apartment for a few days in New York City via Airbnb will face obstacles now that the city is enforcing rules that crack down on short-term rentals.
Strict new regulations came into effect on September 5 asserting that stays of less than 30 days are not permitted unless the host is present throughout the entire stay and there are no more than two guests. In what Airbnb has called "a de facto ban on short-term rentals", hosts must now officially register with the city and comply with the new rules or risk fines of up to $US5000.
For guests, it will mean slimmer pickings on Airbnb and other home rental sites, including VRBO and Marriott Homes and Villas. Families or groups of more than two people will need to find alternative accommodation. Travellers who just like having their own space will be deterred by the thought of staying in a property with the host present.
More than two dozen new properties will have opened by the end of 2023 and upwards of 40 by the end of 2024.
Tiffany Townsend, Executive Vice President of Global Communications at New York City Tourism + Conventions, says it's still early in terms of knowing the total impact. "New York City has over 118,000 hotel rooms," she says. "More than two dozen new properties will have opened by the end of 2023 and upwards of 40 by the end of 2024."
1. SAY HI TO YOUR HOST
Airbnb accommodation where the host is present throughout the stay is still legal. Think of it as an opportunity to get to know a New Yorker who might be open to showing you around.
2. STAY LONGER
Stays of 30 days or longer in Airbnb and other short-term rentals are are not affected by the new rules. If you have the time and the budget, stay for a month or more and really get to know the city. You won't run out of things to see and do.
3. LOOK FOR HOTEL DEALS
The high cost of hotels in Manhattan can really squeeze the juice out of a Big Apple visit. Search for deals at more affordable digs including The Pod Hotels (rooms sleep up to four), Moxy hotels, Freehand (choose from solo, queen, king, triple and quad rooms) and The Jane. Compare prices on trivago.com or expedia.com.
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4. WORK THE EXCHANGE ECONOMY
Stay rent-free by signing up with a house-swap site. For an annual fee (generally between $200-250), enjoy unlimited exchanges of your home with those of vetted members. Many families exchange with each other, making the most of bedrooms and play areas set up for little ones. See homeexchange.com.
5. SIT WITH THIS IDEA
Love animals? You could save money by house-sitting in NYC. The idea is you stay for free in exchange for looking after the owner's pets, home and/or plants. The only cost is your annual membership of the organisation that matches sitters and home-owners. Listing owners have personal preferences on multiple sitters at once and sitters with kids in tow. See trustedhousesitters.com.
6. ENJOY ONE LAST HURRAH
Existing Airbnb reservations with a check-in on or before December 1 will be honoured. After that, it's a whole new ballgame.