Illegal Short-Term Rentals

Rules and Regulations for Short-term Rentals

The term "short-term rental" refers to renting for any period shorter than 30 days.

Illegal short-term rentals undermine safety and affordable housing for all New Yorkers. OSE works to ensure safety, fairness and comfort for residents and visitors.

  • Housing Supply: Illegal short-term rentals reduce the City's stock of permanent residential housing units.

  • Building Safety: Illegal short-term rental units can be dangerous for neighbors, guests, and first responders. They often lack proper fire safety systems such as alarms and sprinklers, and may not have enough exits in the event of an emergency. Additionally, many permanent residential buildings do not have adequate security personnel to deal with travelers.

  • Community Livability: Illegal short-term rentals often present issues with noise, litter and personal safety, and compromise comfort for permanent residents.

  • Trustworthy Accommodations: Illegal hotels and short-term rentals can target tourists via bait-and-switch tactics. Arriving to find that there is no place to stay, or that the amenities advertised online are not available, can ruin a vacation.

  • Fair Access: All visitors are entitled to a safe place to stay while they are in New York City, and cannot be discriminated against based on race, gender identity, sexual orientation, religious background, disability, age, family status, or any protected class under Federal, State or City laws.

  • OSE utilizes various enforcement tools, including issuing violations and administrative orders, and when necessary, bringing lawsuits.

Laws and Regulations for Short-term Rentals

Owners, Property Managers, and Hosts

  • You cannot rent out your entire apartment or home to visitors for less than 30 days;

  • You may have up to two paying guests living in your household for fewer than 30 days, if every such guest has free and unobstructed access to every room and to each exit within the apartment, and has the right to use at least one bathroom;

  • You must be present during the guests' stay if it is for less than 30 days; and

  • No key locks may be installed on any internal door as all occupants in the premises need to maintain a common household.  A common household exists when every member of the family (and guest) has access to all parts of the dwelling unit.

  • Property owners will be issued the violation for any illegal short-term rentals at their property, even if it is conducted by tenants. Under the NYC Administrative Code, property owners are responsible for ensuring their properties are maintained in a safe and code-compliant manner at all times.

  • New York State law also prohibits the advertising of an apartment in a Class A multiple dwelling (generally, a building with three or more permanent residential units) for rent for any period less than 30 days. Fines for doing so range from $1,000 to $7,500, and will be issued to the person who posts the advertisement.

The above restrictions are outlined in the NYS Multiple Dwelling Law, the NYC Administrative Code, and the New York City Zoning Resolution.

Tourists

The City of New York wants you to have an enjoyable and safe visit, and we are committed to protecting your rights as a consumer. If you are staying in a short-term rental and there is no host available to notify of dirty or unsafe conditions, or if you think you have been taken advantage of, please call 311 or submit a complaint online. Doing so will notify OSE or the Department of Consumer Affairs so that your complaint can be investigated and appropriate action taken to prevent this illegal activity from reoccurring.

Visitors who book short-term rentals in New York City will not be held responsible for a rental that turns out to be illegal. If OSE inspectors arrive at your rental location while you are there, we encourage you to cooperate with their investigation by opening the door and responding honestly to questions.  In the event conditions are deemed to be hazardous or unsafe, visitors will need to comply with emergency orders from inspectors.

Tenants and Neighbors

Permanent residents have a right to live in a safe and comfortable environment. If you know of an illegal short-term rental in your building or neighborhood, you can anonymously report it via 311.

How to Identify and Report an Illegal Hotel or Short-term Rental

Signs of an illegal hotel tend to vary according to the unique characteristics of each building. The biggest indication of an illegal hotel is always based on your common sense. Common indications of an illegal short-term rental include:

  • A string of different people going in and out of an apartment with luggage

  • Guests talking about their stay in the hallways, stairways, and elevators

  • Key boxes installed on doors or door knobs