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更新时间:2014-10-17 17:59:00 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Airbnb Listings Mostly Illegal, New York State Contends

NEW YORK — Airbnb, the pioneering home rental service, presents itself as useful and virtuous, but the reality is far less benign, according to a report that Eric T. Schneiderman, the New York attorney general, released on Thursday.

纽约——家庭房屋出租服务先驱者Airbnb给自己打造了一个既有用又善良的形象,但从纽约检察长埃里克·T·施耐德曼(Eric T. Schneiderman)本周四发布的一份报告来看,实际情况远远谈不上良好宜人。

The report will say nearly three-quarters of all Airbnb rentals in the city are illegal, violating zoning or other laws. Commercial operators, not hard-luck residents, supply more than a third of the units and generate more than a third of the revenue. At least a handful of landlords are running what amount to illegal hostels.


Property owners on Airbnb are indeed making money, but it is not being spread around. Most rentals are in three high-profile Manhattan neighborhoods. Queens, the Bronx and Staten Island barely figure.


Airbnb declined to aggressively dispute the numbers in the report, which draws on four years of data it provided to the attorney general after a court fight.


“We need to move forward,” an Airbnb spokesman, Nick Papas, said. “We need to work together on some sensible rules that stop bad actors and protect regular people who simply want to share the home in which they live.”

“我们需要前进,”Airbnb的发言人尼克·帕帕斯(Nick Papas)说。“我们需要合作拟定一些合理规则,以便阻止不良行为,保护那些只想出租自住居所的普通人。”

Airbnb, which is most likely contemplating a public offering in the next few years, seemed eager to avoid another fight. Its latest round of fund-raising put its valuation at $10 billion.


The housing broker and its imitators, like the taxi service Uber and its clones, have been prompting upheaval just about everywhere they go.


Admirers say these stars of the so-called sharing economy are breaking up monopolies that have grown greedy and lazy. They are empowering individuals. Critics say that the start-ups are unsavory efforts to avoid regulation and taxes, and that the very term “sharing economy” is ridiculous.

支持者称,这些参与“分享型经济”(sharing economy)的明星公司,打破了已经变得贪婪和懒惰的垄断服务。它们正在赋权于个人。批评者称,这些初创公司令人讨厌,它们逃避监管和税收,而且“分享型经济”这个词本来就很荒谬。

In some contentious spots, like San Francisco, where the local government endorsed a plan last week to essentially legalize Airbnb, a resolution may be in sight. But in New York, where real estate is often viewed as a blood sport, the battle is only deepening.


Mr. Schneiderman and city regulators will also announce Thursday a joint enforcement initiative to shut down illegal hotels. Various regulators will investigate violations of building and safety codes and tax regulations.


“Anyone operating an illegal hotel should be on notice that the state and city will take aggressive enforcement actions in this area,” said Mr. Schneiderman. “A slick advertising campaign doesn’t change the fact that this is illegal activity.”


He was careful, however, to speak of “illegal hotels” rather than “illegal rentals.” Airbnb is already too popular to dislodge completely, no matter what the housing laws say. It also delights travelers, who get a cheaper and usually more interesting place to stay.


“Most of our hosts are regular New Yorkers, and the overwhelming majority live outside of Manhattan,” Mr. Papas said.


As for the 72 percent of listings that Mr. Schneiderman said were illegal, Mr. Papas said it was hard to tell what was going on.


“Every single home, apartment, co-op and living space in New York is subject to a myriad of rules, so it’s impossible to make this kind of blanket statement,” the spokesman said. “That kind of uncertainty and lack of clarity is exactly why we’re advocating for clear, fair rules for home sharing.”


The report, Airbnb in the City, draws on anonymized data on 497,322 private stays in 35,354 unique places that were for less than 30 days and did not involve a shared room.

该报告名为《纽约市Airbnb状况》(Airbnb in the City),它使用的匿名数据包含30天内35354个不同地方的497322次私人住宿,不涉及共享一个房间的情况。

The report said the service was dominated by large-scale operators, finding that 6 percent of the hosts made 37 percent of the revenue — or $168 million. The number of units they administered ranged from three to 272. The individual with those 272 units charged an average of $358.19 a night, yielding $6.8 million, the report says.


Some of these operators may be gone already. In April, in the midst of Airbnb’s negotiations with Mr. Schneiderman over turning over its data, the company said it was expelling hosts with 2,000 listings in New York because they “weren’t providing a quality, local experience to guests.”


A Quinnipiac poll last month revealed sharp divisions among New Yorkers about companies like Airbnb. Asked whether city residents should be able to rent rooms to strangers like a hotel, 56 percent of the respondents said yes and 36 percent said no.

昆尼皮亚克大学(Quinnipiac University)上月进行的民意调查显示,对于Airbnb这样的公司,纽约人的看法分歧严重。当被问及城市居民是否应该有权像宾馆一样,向陌生人出租房间时,56%的受访者说应该,36%的人说不应该。

“Airbnb allows longtime residents to stay in their homes by earning just a little extra money to help make ends meet,” the company states in its promotions. It stresses that only 18 percent of its New York rentals are “where the hotels are,” which it defines as Midtown. The other 82 percent are “outside of traditional tourist zones.”


But the attorney general’s report says rentals in three areas in Manhattan — Lower East Side/Chinatown, Chelsea/Hell’s Kitchen and Greenwich Village/SoHo — accounted for 40 percent of private stay revenue, or $187 million.


Reservations in Queens, Staten Island and the Bronx accounted for only 3 percent, or $12 million.