Vacation rental service Airbnb says it will hire legal support to fight New York City regulators on behalf of Nigel Warren, who was recently ordered to pay $2,400 for renting his room out using Airbnb, an act the state considers a violation of its “illegal hotels law.” The ruling in Warren’s case means that renting a room out through Airbnb while you’re away is illegal in New York, and people caught doing so could face similar fines to Warren’s.
Airbnb argued that allowing people to rent out rooms occasionally “supports the city’s desire to preserve living accommodations because it allows tenant the ability to bolster their income and pay rent.” As Warren and his landlord plan to file an appeal, Airbnb has reportedly hired a law firm and will take the case up with the city’s Environmental Control Board before going through the courts.
“We know that by stepping up and fighting for Nigel and our community, we have made ourselves a target and will now face attacks in the press and from people who do not understand who our community really is,” global head of public policy David Hantman writes in a blog post. “But the amazing activity that is happening in New York and other cities around the world is worth fighting for.”
[Image: M_Dougherty on Flickr]