Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Anti-marshal plan

That middle aged man lurking around Grand Central Station might have something to sell you; a room of your own (for a night or two). But, keep it to yourself;
Airbnb is a service that is adored by some, despised by others, and most commonly known as a place to rent out your apartment while you’re out of town for a few days. But doing so is often illegal in New York City, one reason the company has locked horns with the New York State attorney general, Eric T. Schneiderman.
 Who, like most government officials, is opposed to capitalistic acts between consenting adults;
A huge amount of money hangs in the balance of this dispute, including revenue for Airbnb, as well as untold millions in hotel tax dollars that the attorney general says Airbnb has been costing the state every year. Also at stake is a discrete little economy, populated by New Yorkers who make a substantial portion of their income by renting out apartments on a short-term basis through the website, sometimes legally and sometimes not.
Your home isn't your castle, the state AG can stick his nose into your bedrooms.
“Last year we made about $90,000 from this business,” said Leslie, who rents out two rooms in her two-family house in Brooklyn through Airbnb.
Leslie, a stay-at-home mother who is married to a teacher, agreed to speak only if her address and last name were withheld. So did Joe, who said his “dedicated Airbnb room,” which brings in about $2,000 per month that he splits with his two roommates, allowed him to start a small technology company. And P., a musician who rents out two apartments in Manhattan and one in Brooklyn.
One man, however, declined to be identified by his extremely common first name, by his profession or even by the state in which he lives. Instead he described himself as “one of the people they really want to get.” He operates empty New York City apartments as short-term rentals, none of which he lives in, a practice he called “beyond lucrative.” It also happens to generally be illegal.
As it was in many European cities after WWII, but that didn't stop many from catering to American tourists with only $5 per day to spend. Pensione New York.

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