Airbnb Inc. is suing New York City over a recently passed law that allows the collection of Airbnb hosts’ data, claiming the ordinance violates users’ constitutional rights.
The company is hoping to avoid millions in losses when the law, designed to police short-term home rentals, takes effect this winter. The New York City legislation, which passed with a 45-0 vote, would require Airbnb to share the names and addresses of its hosts with the city’s Office of Special Enforcement.
“The ordinance is an unlawful end-run around established restraints on governmental action and violates core constitutional rights,” the company said in a claim filed in New York court on Friday.
New York, which faces an affordable housing shortage, has struggled with how to enforce regulations to control Airbnb and other home-sharing services like Expedia Inc.’s HomeAway. Regulators argue that short-term rentals, which can be more profitable than long-term leases, disrupt neighborhoods and drive up rents. The new legislation is designed to give officials enough information to catch Airbnb hosts who operate outside of strict home-sharing laws.