New York homeowners barred from renting to tourists

NYC skyline
NYC skyline

New York Governor David Paterson signed it. The new law, which I alerted you to last month, bans homeowners and apartment holders from renting their homes to tourists. The law, which Mayor Michael Bloomberg pushed for, claiming it would protect vacationers from "unsafe conditions", will affect personal pocketbooks: It will make New York City's hotels, where rooms are routinely $350 a night, nearly the only game in town.

There are solid arguments on both sides of the issue. Housing advocates are rightly upset that some unscrupulous landlords have been forcing legitimate renters out in favor of the more lucrative tourist trade. In fact, a building that I once lived in was largely and unfairly converted to that under-the-table trade.

But instead of crafting a law that cracked down on that practice, the politicians in Albany simply banned by-owner rentals to tourists completely. It's the way of the lazy politician: Rather than repair the plumbing, simply rip it out.