A New York City law seeking to reign in Airbnb’s growth in the city has hit a roadblock.
The short-term rentals platform has won an important court ruling blocking the city from forcing Airbnb to hand over data on all hosts.
The city sought precise data on the identity of hosts and full addresses of each rental property listed on the platform.
Judge Paul A. Engelmayer placed an injunction on the rule, saying it violated data protection and the requirement was too broad.
It was due to come into effect from next month.
“The decision today is a huge win for Airbnb and its users, including the thousands of New Yorkers at risk of illegal surveillance who use Airbnb to help make ends meet,” Airbnb said.
However it is only a temporary reprieve.
“We felt we were well within the law. This is a law to stop landlords from creating de facto hotels, which is unfair and illegal,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Under current New York City law, an entire apartment can only be rented out for a minimum of 30 days.
A second lawsuit fighting the city’s ordinance was filed by HomeAway Inc.
The judge noted that New York City has filed 10 subpoenas to Airbnb seeking data on the identity of hosts and other information about their listings, and hosts usually complied with the requests.
The city can continue doing this.
“The city retains its existing investigative tools such as subpoenas, and is at liberty to enhance the resources dedicated to this area if it determines that such serves the public interest,” Judge Engelmayer added.