Airbnb rejected by Jersey City

70% of Jersey City voters put Airbnb on notice: they don’t support the home-sharing concept in their city.

Now in Jersey City, you can rent for only 60 days in a year when you aren’t present. And, if you live in a building with over five residential units, you can’t rent at all.

Want to pay for your summer vacation by renting your apartment across the river from Manhattan? Not happening.

Jersey City is following New York’s lead

New York has cracked down on short-term rentals and does not allow rentals of fewer than 30 days in most multiple-unit buildings unless a permanent resident is present during the rental period.

Enforcement includes a mix of fees, fines, raids and arrests. In one prominent mid-town building, residents documented the use of units for short-term rentals, and then turned them over to city officials.

Jersey City, accessible to Manhattan by the PATH train, was an alternative for expensive accommodations in New York.

Airbnb is battling cities across the world to keep its properties listed on its site. In Jersey City, the company spent $4.2 million prior to the vote.

Airbnb IPO

Airbnb plans to do an initial public offering (or IPO) in 2020. This first-time opportunity to buy stock in the company comes after a series of misfortunate events, including a house-party turned mass murder site in California, bad press about hidden cameras at some rentals, and scam hosts.

a little backstory to the Jersey City vote

In 2015, the mayor of Jersey City entered into an agreement with Airbnb: Airbnb would get support for legalizing short-term rentals, and Jersey City would get tax revenue from the rentals.  Airbnb spread the word about the Jersey City partnership, even highlighting it in PR materials given to other municipalities.

But when the deal was made, there were around 300 active Airbnb listings in Jersey City. After one year, there were roughly 2,000. Now, that number has grown to 3,000 Airbnb listings, the majority of which are whole-home rentals—where the owner isn’t present during the guests’ stay—and are operated by hosts that run multiple properties.

We’re used to  Airbnb-ing when we travel, circumventing high-priced hotels, particularly in big-name cities. Is Airbnb a good thing? Check out the debate here.


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