Saturday, September 20, 2014 Headlines & Global News

Airbnb Petition Against A 'Poorly Written Law' In New York

By Rebeka Silva | Oct 15, 2013 05:13 PM EDT

Airbnb
Airbnb, an online service that provides short-term lodging, is behind a petition which asks the New York Senate to fix a "poorly written law" that could curb its growth in the area of New York. (Photo : Facebook)

Airbnb, an online service that provides short-term lodging, is behind a petition which asks the New York Senate to fix a "poorly written law," CNET reported.

Airbnb is a privately held company headquartered in San Francisco that provides an online service renting unoccupied living spaces for short-term periods, according to CNET. A New York City host named Mishelle, started a petition asking for the New York State Senate to fix a law that could curb Airbnb's reach in the area, CNET reported.

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On the petitions webpage Mishelle promised that if 20,000 signatures were collected by Oct. 20, she would hand deliver it to the senator herself, according to CNET. Signatures were past 21,000, on Tuesday. 

"The reason this is happening is because of a poorly written law originally designed to stop slumlords from running illegal hotels with dozens of rental apartments," Mishelle writes on the petition site. "As a New Yorker just trying to pay my bills, I don't understand why they think I'm a slumlord.

"I figure that if we get 20,000 people to sign the petition, we'll get the state Senate's attention, and if we hit that goal by October 20th, I pledge to deliver the signatures to every senator myself," she wrote. 

Airbnb is also behind the petition and sent out an email on Monday to all of its New York members.

"The New York attorney general has subpoenaed the records of almost all of our New York hosts," Airbnb's global head of community Douglas Atkin wrote in the e-mail, according to CNET. "We are fighting the subpoena with all we've got, but poorly written laws make for even worse enforcement, and unless you help to stop it once and for all, the laws may never get better and New Yorkers will continue to suffer." 

A subpoena issued by New York lawmakers requests three years' worth of data on thousands of Airbnb New York hosts. Airbnb has said that it has 225,000 community members in New York and filed filed a motion last week stating the subpoena was "unreasonably broad," CNET reported.

Airbnb has said it will cooperate with New York's lawmakers to root out illegal hotel operators and slumlords, but it "won't turn over sweeping amounts of information on hosts who have done no wrong," according to CNET.

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