Don't get too excited about Airbnb's court "victory"

By Virginia K. Smith  | May 14, 2014 - 12:59PM

Short-term rental site Airbnb is trumpeting yesterday's court ruling--which struck down a state subpoena for reams of information about users--as a big win. Even the New York Times (somewhat misleadingly) called the ruling a "victory" for the company. 

But before you pop those Champagne bottles and start running a hotel tax-free out of your living room, hold up.

The decision was small and technical and will only lead back to the courtroom. The issue? The judge said that Schneiderman's subpoena was too broad because it covered more people than just hosts in New York City or other places that have this type of 30-days-and-under sublet.

But prepare for round two. The judge found that a "substantial" number of Airbnb users were violating illegal hotel and tax laws, and ruled against Airbnb on just about everything else. Meanwhile, Schneiderman's office is preparing to reissue the subpoena, a spokesperson said in a statement to Gothamist, and it will presumably be rewritten to satisfy the judge's concerns.

Looks like this battle's nowhere close to over. In the meantime, may as well revisit our rundown of the ins and outs of renting your apartment legally. No one wants to end up in the middle of a legal fight like this one.


Yes, it's still illegal to rent out your NYC apartment for less than a month

Lessons from an Astoria man who made $18,000 on Airbnb--legally

Rent Coach: Being an Airbnb landlord isn't for everyone

I made $14K on at $99/night

Craigslist scam buster: Check before handing over the cash

8 tips for NYC Airbnb hosts, from a pair of Airbnb junkies


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