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NYC bill could force Airbnb to turn over its hosts' info

The City Council's vote would put pressure on hosts illegally renting apartments.
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Supporters of Airbnb hold a rally on the steps of New York City Hall showing support for the company on October 30, 2015 in New York City. Andrew Burton via Getty Images

The New York City Council voted in support of regulation that would force Airbnb, HomeAway and other short-term rental services to hand over about hosts using their sites. State law already prohibits rentals of most apartments for less than 30 days unless the permanent tenant is there, but it enforcement has not been thorough. If this bill takes effect, that could change quickly.

Earlier this year a similar law forcing renters to register took effect in San Francisco and half of Airbnb's listings disappeared. According to the city council, short-term rental listings reduce the amount of affordable housing available and drive up rents for residents. Airbnb could sue to try and stop the bill from being signed into law, opposing it on the grounds of privacy for hosts. The company also claims that despite what council members have said about landlords using the sites instead of taking on long-term tenants, it benefits regular people who use listings to help pay their bills.

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