LIEB BLOG

How current events impact your business and real estate holdings

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Real Estate Brokerage Law: Is AirBnB engaging in the unauthorized practice of real estate brokerage?

There has been a lot said about AirBnB these days. It's been called a disruptive technology (a compliment in the technology world) as a result of its leveraging the international sharing culture in real estate, by Gigaom, Fastcompany, and Techcrunch, among others. Yet, it has also been labeled as an illegal hotel site, which doesn't sufficiently warn its customers that their participation may be illegal as a violation of local transient laws. The latter appears to be the sentiments of New York State, as evidenced by the recent subpoena issued by the state's attorney general, Eric Schneiderman, seeking data on AirBnB's hosts. In response, AirBnB seems to be crafting a public relations campaign defending its business model by proposing that legislation be introduced at the state level requiring its users to pay taxes incident to their rentals. 

However, taxes and labels are neither here nor there. The real question is if AirBnB's business model is legal in the first instance, as their practice is quite similar to that of a licensed real estate brokerage in the state of New York, but without AirBnB having such licensing, according to the eAccessNY Occupational Licensing Management System......

See full published article by Andrew Lieb, Esq., MPH at the New York Real Estate Journal:  http://nyrej.com/66975#sthash.hltxB4mB.dpuf