Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal’s Statement on City Issuing Broad Subpoena to Airbnb, Homeaway for Illegal Listing Data the Companies Refuse to Provide Voluntarily

February 18, 2019

New York, NY – Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal (D/WF-Manhattan) today released the following statement after the City of New York announced that it had issued a broad subpoena demanding information about tens of thousands of illegal listings on the Airbnb and Home Away websites in New York City. 

Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal, author of the law banning advertisements of illegal listings online, is the sponsor of state-level legislation requiring websites like Airbnb to share listing data with enforcement agencies to protect against illegal hotel activity. The New York City Council passed a law in 2018 modeled on Assemblymember Rosenthal’s state bill. Recently, a United States District Court Judge for the Southern District of New York granted Airbnb’s request for a temporary injunction of the law, and suggested, among other things, that the City use its subpoena power to access listing data.

“This subpoena demonstrates what we have been saying to Airbnb from the very beginning: our affordable housing is not for sale. My colleagues and I in State and City government will stop at nothing in the fight to protect our communities against Airbnb and other illegal hotel operators. Armed with this data, which we all know will show the breadth of Airbnb’s illegal empire, the Office of Special Enforcement will be empowered to take action to ensure that all Airbnb listings comply with the laws of the State and the City of New York, which are designed to protect tenant safety, affordable housing and the vibrancy and diversity of our communities. I applaud the City for taking this crucial next step, and look forward to pouring through the data once it becomes available.”