Jersey City Airbnb hosts fight against new city regulations
Airbnb hosts operating in Jersey City say that they will fight against new regulations and restrictions that the city recently put into place.
An ordinance passed by Jersey City officials last week requires property owners be on-site, prohibits larger buildings from offering short-term rentals and limits how long each renter can stay. Hosts must also get permits and inspections.
Airbnb hosts like Nadia Sexton and her husband say that the new regulations are too restrictive and could drive them out of business.
“Between us, we work five jobs and that’s been an important aspect of our monetary finances,” she says. “I think they want us out of business. I think it's the hotel lobby, frankly.”
But Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop says the new requirements are not meant to eliminate short-term rentals - but to fix the problems they sometimes cause, such as increased rent, decreased housing availability and quality-of-life issues.
Sexton says that if the new rules stay in place, she and other Airbnb hosts will have to find other ways to make their money.
“We will go back to tenants and bite the bullet. We will have more wear and tear, more trash. Add another car to these streets where you can’t find parking and we’ll add more transients,” she says.
Airbnb officials say that they are working with local hosts to run a referendum campaign. If they are able to collect enough signatures from Jersey City residents, they could have the ordinance repealed or put on to the ballot and let residents decide.
Airbnb says that there are currently about 3,100 listings in Jersey City – generating about $4 million in tax revenue for the city since 2016.