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Be careful before listing your NYC home on a vacation rental site

If you're going to be out of town for a time on business or vacation or staying with family and are considering listing your home on Airbnb or another vacation rental site, make sure you know the law. New York City has strict regulations involving the rental of homes on these sites, and the fines for violating them can be hefty. You could even be subject to eviction.

In 2018, NYC officials raided a luxury condo building on the West Side. They issued violations to 20 owners for illegal short-term rentals.

So what is the law? If you live in a building in NYC that includes at least three residential units, it's illegal to rent your unit for under 30 days unless an owner or leaseholder remains in the unit. If you live in a rent-stabilized building, co-op or condo, there may be additional restrictions or terms in the homeowners' association (HOA) bylaws that restrict or prohibit short-term leases and rentals.

Even if you own your own single-family home, you may be prevented from renting it out by zoning regulations. The structure may not meet the requirements to be a "rooming house."

As was the case with the 2018 raid, it's often neighbors who notify authorities about the illegal rentals. People living in expensive buildings (and less expensive ones) often don't appreciate the noise and disruption of a variety of people moving in and out of nearby units.

If you're considering listing your NYC home on Airbnb, VRBO or another vacation rental site, read the fine print of your lease or HOA agreement and make sure you know the zoning regulations in your neighborhood. If you're facing fines or other penalties for illegally renting your home, it's wise to contact an experienced attorney.

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