If you’ve been looking for a swanky pad on Airbnb or another vacation rental to stay in while visiting New York City, you might have noticed it’s slim pickings in the Big Apple. That’s due to crackdowns from the city, spurred by new laws regulating short-term rentals in New York.
Earlier this month Local Law 18, which was adopted in 2022, went into effect, a strict rule that essentially bans entirely a majority of Airbnb and other vacation rental options for travelers visiting New York City. The law states that short-term rental hosts in New York must register with the city, and that the hosts must be living in the place they are renting and be present when someone is staying with them, in order to qualify. The new rules also limit hosts to only two guests at a time. Additionally, the law prohibits Airbnb and similar companies from processing payments for short-term listings unless the host had received authorization and approval of registration from the city.
Airbnb fought back against the law and sued New York City in June, but a judge dismissed the case in August, leaving hosts scrambling to find solutions. Local Law 18 aids older legislation that prevented short-term rentals of entire apartments for less than 30 days, but was difficult for the city to enforce without any laws in place mandating registration of rentals.
As properties disappear and cancellations stack up, some hotels are looking to aid travelers looking to rebook their NYC accommodations. In direct response, IHG Hotels & Resorts has launched the IHG Vacay SOS Program, which offers the first 100 travelers who show proof of short-term rental cancellations through the end of this year 10,000 IHG One Reward Points to use towards stays at IHG properties.
All guests have to do is sign up for the IHG One Reward program here, and then email their proof of cancellation from short-term rental company or host to BeAGuestAgain@ihg.com. IHG operates over 60 properties in New York City, including the InterContinental Time Square location, as well as multiple Hotel Indigo, Crowne Plaza, and Holiday Inn locations throughout the city, offering everything from budget and family-friendly options to boutique and luxury accommodations.
Gothamist broke down data earlier this week from the Office of Special Enforcement that shows the city only approved 405 short-term rentals in the months since launching the registration portal in March. The city also let Gothamist know that 4,624 applications were received from hosts trying to legally register their short-term rental units in New York City. The city rejected 214 of those applications and sent 758 back to hosts for additional information or corrections, meanwhile the majority of registrations are awaiting review. The Office of Special Enforcement said they received 71% of the applications to register since the end of June, which lines up with the lawsuit from Airbnb earlier this year.