Can you rent your apartment or home in NYC (Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx and Staten Island) for less than 30 day to visitors?

You cannot rent out an entire apartment or home to visitors for less than 30 days, even if you own or live in the building in NYC.

NYS Multiple Dwelling Law prohibits short-term rentals in buildings with three or more units.

MDL § 4(8)(a), the relevant statute, states: A “class A” multiple dwelling is a multiple dwelling [3 units] that is occupied for permanent residence purposes…A class A multiple dwelling shall only be used for permanent residence purposes. For the purposes of this definition, “permanent residence purposes” shall consist of occupancy of a dwelling unit by the same natural person or family for thirty consecutive days or more and a person or family so occupying a dwelling unit shall be referred to herein as the permanent occupants of such dwelling unit. The following uses of a dwelling unit by the permanent occupants thereof shall not be deemed to be inconsistent with the occupancy of such dwelling unit for permanent residence purposes: (1)(A) occupancy of such dwelling unit for fewer than thirty consecutive days by other natural persons living within the household.

New York City Building Code prohibits short-term leasing in one and two family homes. Section 310.1.3 of the New York City Building Code (BC), found in Title 28 of the Code, provides that an R-3 occupancy includes “buildings or portions thereof containing no more than 2 dwelling unit, occupied, as a rule, for shelter and sleeping accommodation on a long-term basis for a month or more at a time . . ..”

Are there any exceptions to the short-term rental laws?

In order to have short-term (less than 30 days) guests:

You must be present during your guests' stay if it is for less than 30 days and share your apartment or home;

You may have up to two paying guests staying in your household for fewer than 30 days, only if every guest has free and unobstructed access to every room, and each exit within the apartment;

Internal doors cannot have key locks that allow guests to leave and lock their room behind them. All occupants need to maintain a common household, which means, among other things, that every member of the family and all guests have access to all parts of the dwelling unit. Internal doors with such key locks create barriers to escaping in an emergency, and may result in the issuance of a temporary vacate order.

If a tenant rents out his or her entire apartment without the landlord’s knowledge or consent, who is responsible for any violations issued to the property?

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. Property owners can and will be issued violations for any illegal short-term rentals at their property -- even if it is conducted by tenants without the consent of the landlords.

Can you advertise your short-term rental on any of the short-term platforms such as Airbnb, Tripadvisor, Homeaway etc.?

New York State law 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 is responsible for the advertisement.

The information above is intended to provide limited information only and is not legal advice. The laws relating to ECB and DOB violations are complex especially in the context of illegal Airbnb activity. If you are a party to a matter concerning ECB or DOB violations in the context of Airbnb rentals, or otherwise need further guidance in this or a related area of law, SINGH & RANI, LLP can assist you.


Reena Rani

Reena Rani has wide range of legal experience, having worked with largest U.S.A. Municipal Health Care Organization as in house counsel for New York City Hospitals, the Bronx District Attorney’s Office and in house counsel at GEICO she brings her former prosecutorial and defense experience to her current clients.