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Travel News: Tourists in New York face limited accommodation options due to new Airbnb regulations

Holidaymakers searching for accommodation in New York City will find far fewer options than usual after a clampdown on Airbnb rules.

New regulations that came into place on Tuesday effectively ended a free-for-all which was allowing all landlords and residents to rent out their properties to tourists by the week or night.

Airbnb says it has already begun limiting some new reservations.

Under the new rules, only registered hosts will be allowed to accept guests for fewer than 30 days via platforms such as Airbnb and VRBO.

They must remain in the home while renting it out and no more than two guests are allowed at a time – essentially banning families and putting an end to group bookings for parties, or stag and hen weekends.

New York City officials say they have received 3,800 applications from people wanting to register as hosts but just under 300 have been approved so far.

The regulations are a win for housing advocates who argued apartments in the city were becoming de facto hotels.

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Airbnb fought the new rules, arguing the strict conditions amount to a ban and will negatively impact travellers looking for affordable accommodations.

But since 21 August 2023, Airbnb – which had 38,500 ‘non-hotel’ listings in New York in January – has been stopping reservations for hosts who could not provide either a city registration number or proof they had applied.

Authorities in New York are far from the first to restrict how holiday rental platforms operate in their city.

Airbnb hosts in San Francisco can only rent their entire property out for a maximum of 90 days a year, while in Amsterdam the limit is 30 nights, unless you have a specific licence.

Berlin banned short-term rentals entirely in 2014 but the law was overturned in 2018. However, restrictions on how long people can rent their properties out for in the German capital remain in place.

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