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Sep 27, 2013

Huge victory in New York for Nigel Warren and our host community

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In June, I wrote about Nigel Warren, a New York host who was fined by an administrative law judge for renting out a room his apartment for a few days. I said at the time that the decision was clearly wrong on the law and bad for New York, and we were proud to support Nigel and his landlord as they appealed this ruling over the past few months. Yesterday, the New York City Environmental Control Board reversed Nigel’s fines, agreeing with our arguments and delivering a major victory for Nigel, New York and the Airbnb community.

In the appeal, we and Nigel argued—and the appeal board now agrees—that under New York law as long as a permanent occupant is present during a stay, the stay does not violate New York’s short term rental laws. Much of the New York law is confusing, with some provisions applying to certain buildings and not to others. But this shared space provision was crystal clear. We intervened in this case because the initial decision on Nigel’s case was so clearly wrong, and we are pleased to see that the Board agreed.

We know there is more work to do. This episode highlights how complicated the New York law is, and it took far too long for Nigel to be vindicated. That is why we are continuing our work to clarify the law and ensure New Yorkers can share their homes and their city with travelers from around the world.

But in the meantime, this decision was a victory for the sharing economy and the countless New Yorkers who make the Airbnb community vibrant and strong. As I said last summer, the sharing economy is here to stay, and so are we.

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