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Kings County, New York Short-Term Rental Regulation: A Guide For Airbnb Hosts

Kings County, New York

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What are Short-Term Rental (Airbnb, VRBO) Regulations in Kings County, New York?

Short-term rentals through platforms like Airbnb and VRBO have become increasingly popular in Kings County (Brooklyn), New York in recent years. However, there are a number of local laws and regulations hosts must follow in order to legally operate a short-term rental business.

Starting a Short-Term Rental Business in Kings County

To start a short-term rental in Kings County, hosts must first register with the Mayor's Office of Special Enforcement and obtain a short-term rental registration number. The property must have a valid certificate of occupancy and be the host's primary residence where they are present during the rental. Hosts can have a maximum of two paying guests at a time, and guests must have unrestricted access to all rooms in the unit.

In early 2023, New York City enacted strict new rules under Local Law 18 that prohibit hosts from renting out an entire home or apartment, even if the host owns the building. Stays must be less than 30 consecutive days, and hosts cannot install key locks on doors that restrict guests' access to certain areas. Fines for unregistered rentals can be up to $5,000.

These regulations have been controversial. Airbnb sued New York City to block the law, calling it a "de facto ban", but a judge dismissed the lawsuit in August 2023. Hosts argue the rules are overly restrictive and hurt small homeowners trying to earn extra income. But supporters say the crackdown is needed to prevent illegal hotels and preserve affordable housing stock.

As of September 2023 when the law took effect, Airbnb had over 40,000 listings in New York City, over half of which were short-term rentals under 30 days. The new rules are projected to remove thousands of Airbnb listings from the market. Similar restrictions have been enacted in other major cities like Paris, London, and Quebec.

Ultimately, while short-term rentals can provide a lucrative opportunity for Kings County homeowners, it's critical to understand and follow all applicable laws. Failure to properly register or comply with local ordinances can result in substantial fines and penalties. Prospective hosts should thoroughly research the regulations and consult with local authorities before listing their property on sites like Airbnb or VRBO.

Short-Term Rental Licensing Requirement in Kings County

To legally operate a short-term rental in Kings County (Brooklyn), New York, hosts must obtain a short-term rental registration number from the Mayor's Office of Special Enforcement (OSE). Here are the detailed requirements based on the official NYC.gov website:

1. The rental unit must be the host's primary residence where they are present during the rental period

2. Hosts can have a maximum of two paying guests at a time

3. Guests must have unrestricted access to all rooms and spaces in the unit

4. The unit must have a valid certificate of occupancy

5. Hosts must provide the following information when registering:

  • The full legal name, phone number, and address of the host
  • The address of the short-term rental
  • Whether the short-term rental is the host's primary residence
  • The URL and name of the listing(s)

6. Hosts must pay a $145 fee to register their short-term rental with the OSE

7. The registration process typically takes around 10 business days

8. Once approved, the registration is valid for one year and must be renewed annually

To submit a short-term rental registration application, hosts can visit the OSE's online portal at www1.nyc.gov/site/specialenforcement/enforcement/short-term-rentals.page. Alternatively, paper applications can be mailed to:

  1. Office of Special Enforcement
  2. Short-Term Rental Registration
  3. 22 Reade Street, 4th Floor
  4. New York, NY 10007

Failure to properly register a short-term rental can result in substantial fines. Hosts renting out an entire unregistered unit can face penalties of up to $5,000 for a first violation, with fines increasing for subsequent violations. Hosts renting out individual rooms without registration can be fined $1,000 for a first offense, with higher fines for repeat offenses.

It's important to note that as of September 2023, NYC enacted strict new rules under Local Law 18 that prohibit hosts from renting out an entire home or apartment for stays under 30 days, even if the host owns the building. This has significantly reduced the number of legal short-term rental listings in the city.

Required Documents for Kings County Short-Term Rentals

To register a short-term rental in Kings County (Brooklyn), New York, hosts must submit the following documents according to the NYC Mayor's Office of Special Enforcement:

1. Proof of Primary Residence: Hosts must provide two of the following documents to prove the rental unit is their primary residence:

  1. Valid NYS Driver License or Non-Driver ID
  2. New York City ID Card (IDNYC)
  3. Utility bill issued within the last 60 days
  4. Voter registration card
  5. Tax forms such as an income tax return, W-2 or 1099 statement from the last tax year

2. Certificate of Occupancy: The rental unit must have a valid certificate of occupancy from the Department of Buildings showing it is legal for residential use. This ensures the property complies with building codes and is safe for habitation.

3. Lease Agreement or Proof of Ownership: If the host is a renter, they must submit a copy of their lease showing they are allowed to sublet or use the unit for short-term rentals. If the host owns the property, they must provide a deed or tax bill as proof of ownership.

4. Listing Screenshots: Images of the host's online short-term rental listings must be submitted, including the listing URL. This allows the city to verify the host is accurately representing their rental and complying with regulations.

These documents must be submitted along with a completed short-term rental registration application to the Mayor's Office of Special Enforcement. The application can be filed online through the OSE's web portal or mailed to their office.

Failure to provide the required documentation can result in a rejected application. Hosts operating an unregistered short-term rental without the necessary paperwork can face fines of $1,000 to $5,000 for a first offense, with penalties increasing for subsequent violations.

Kings County Short-Term Rental Taxes

Short-term rentals in Kings County (Brooklyn), New York are subject to several state and local taxes that hosts must collect and remit to the proper authorities. Here is a breakdown of the key taxes that apply:

New York State Sales Tax: The state sales tax rate is 4% of the listing price including any cleaning fees for reservations 29 nights and shorter.

New York City Sales Tax: The city sales tax rate is 8.875% of the listing price including any cleaning fees for reservations 29 nights and shorter.

New York City Hotel Room Occupancy Tax: Hosts must collect a 5.875% occupancy tax on the listing price and cleaning fees for stays 29 nights and shorter. This tax is filed and remitted to the NYC Department of Finance.

New York City Hotel Unit Fee: A $1.50 per unit per day fee applies to all short-term rentals in New York City. This fee is reported along with the Hotel Room Occupancy Tax.

In total, short-term rental hosts in Kings County should expect to collect and remit approximately 18.75% in state and local taxes on top of their listing price for most short-term stays under 30 nights. It's critical to keep accurate records and ensure these taxes are being collected and paid to the proper authorities to avoid penalties.

Potential Tax Deductions

Short-term rental hosts may be able to deduct certain expenses to reduce their taxable rental income. Some common deductible expenses include:

  1. Mortgage interest
  2. Property taxes
  3. Insurance premiums
  4. Cleaning and maintenance costs
  5. Utility bills
  6. Supplies for guests
  7. Repairs and improvements

Hosts should keep detailed records and receipts for all rental-related expenses. It's advisable to consult with a tax professional to determine which deductions apply to your specific short-term rental business. With proper tax planning and reporting, hosts can optimize their rental income while staying compliant with all applicable tax laws in Kings County and New York State.

New York State Wide Short-Term Rental Rules

In addition to the specific regulations in Kings County (Brooklyn), short-term rental hosts must also comply with state-wide laws in New York that govern the industry. Here are some of the key state-wide rules and proposals that impact Kings County hosts:

Multiple Dwelling Law: New York's Multiple Dwelling Law prohibits renting out an entire apartment in most buildings for less than 30 days unless the permanent tenant is present during the stay. This state law aims to prevent short-term rentals from being used as illegal hotels.

Short-Term Rental Registration Bill: New York State Senator Michelle Hinchey and Assemblywoman Pat Fahy are sponsoring bills to create a state-wide registration system for short-term rentals. Under the proposed law, hosts would need to register their short-term rentals with the state every two years and potentially pay registration fees. This would provide more transparency and help regulate the growing short-term rental industry across the state.

Sales and Occupancy Taxes: The proposed state-wide registration bill would also require short-term rental hosts to collect and remit state sales taxes and occupancy taxes, similar to hotels and motels. Currently, many short-term rentals do not pay these taxes, which the bill sponsors argue creates an unfair advantage.

Proposed Restrictions: Some state officials have proposed additional restrictions on short-term rentals to protect housing affordability and availability. Potential measures include limiting the number of units a host can operate, requiring units to be the host's primary residence, and restricting short-term rentals in certain neighborhoods with limited housing stock.

Advocacy and Debate: The short-term rental industry has seen significant growth in New York in recent years, with revenue surpassing $1 billion. Advocacy groups and local governments across the state are actively debating how to effectively regulate short-term rentals to promote tourism and economic activity while also preserving housing for permanent residents.

It's important for Kings County hosts to stay informed about both local and state-wide short-term rental regulations to ensure they are operating legally and responsibly. As New York's laws continue to evolve, hosts should regularly check for updates from the city and state governments and industry groups to remain compliant.

Does Kings County Strictly Enforce Short-Term Rental Rules?

Based on discussions from Airbnb hosts on Reddit and real estate forums like Bigger Pockets, it appears that Kings County (Brooklyn) and New York City as a whole are cracking down hard on short-term rentals and are not very Airbnb-friendly compared to other major cities.

In September 2023, NYC began strictly enforcing Local Law 18, which requires all short-term rental hosts to register with the city and only allows rentals in units where the host is present during the stay with a maximum of two guests. Hosts renting out entire unregistered units now face fines of up to $5,000. This law is projected to remove thousands of Airbnb listings from the NYC market.

The consensus among hosts is that NYC is one of the toughest cities for short-term rentals. The city has secured millions in settlements from lawsuits against illegal hotel operators. Angry neighbors readily report unregistered rentals, and the Mayor's Office of Special Enforcement is aggressively pursuing violators.

While some hosts still attempt to skirt the rules, most agree it's not worth the substantial financial and legal risks. Airbnb itself has been unsuccessful in fighting the new restrictions in court. The general advice is to comply with the registration requirements and only rent spare rooms, or switch to 30+ day rentals to avoid violations.

In summary, Kings County and NYC as a whole are strictly enforcing short-term rental regulations and are not accommodating to Airbnb compared to other markets. The vast majority of hosts cannot operate unregistered short-term rentals without facing severe penalties. The city has made it clear illegal rentals that take housing off the market will not be tolerated.

How to Start a Short-Term Rental Business in Kings County

Starting a short-term rental business in Kings County (Brooklyn), New York requires careful planning and compliance with local regulations. Here are the key steps to get started:

Research Local Regulations: Thoroughly review Kings County's short-term rental laws, including the requirement to register with the Mayor's Office of Special Enforcement and restrictions on renting entire units. Consult with a local real estate attorney to ensure you understand all legal obligations.

Obtain Required Permits and Licenses: Apply for a short-term rental registration number from the city and obtain a valid certificate of occupancy for your property. If you are a renter, verify that your lease allows you to sublet or operate short-term rentals.

Prepare Your Property: Ensure your rental unit is safe, clean, and well-maintained. Invest in quality furniture, linens, and amenities that will appeal to guests. Consider hiring a professional photographer to showcase your property in the best light.

Set Competitive Prices: Research similar short-term rentals in your area to determine a competitive nightly rate. Use dynamic pricing tools to automatically adjust rates based on demand, seasonality, and local events. Don't forget to factor in cleaning fees and taxes.

Create Detailed Listings: Craft an enticing description of your property highlighting its best features, amenities, and location. Use high-quality photos and include important details like house rules, check-in/out procedures, and cancellation policies.

List Your Property: Choose reputable short-term rental platforms like Airbnb or VRBO to list your property. Ensure your listing is accurate, complete, and competitively priced. Respond promptly to inquiries and booking requests.

Automate and Streamline Operations: Use vacation rental software to manage bookings, guest communication, cleaning, and financial reporting. Establish reliable systems for key exchanges, maintenance, and emergencies.

Provide Excellent Customer Service: Prioritize guest satisfaction by maintaining a clean, well-stocked property and being responsive to questions or concerns. Encourage guests to leave reviews and promptly address any negative feedback.

Comply with Tax Obligations: Register to collect and remit state and local sales taxes, occupancy taxes, and hotel unit fees. Keep accurate records of all rental income and expenses, and consult a tax professional to optimize deductions.

Continuously Improve and Adapt: Stay informed about changes to local short-term rental regulations and market conditions. Regularly gather guest feedback and invest in property upgrades and amenities to remain competitive.

By following these steps and prioritizing compliance with Kings County's short-term rental laws, hosts can build a successful and sustainable vacation rental business. It's crucial to start with a solid legal and financial foundation and deliver exceptional guest experiences to stand out in NYC's competitive market.

Who to Contact in Kings County about Short-Term Rental Regulations and Zoning?

If you have questions about short-term rental regulations and zoning in Kings County (Brooklyn), here are some key contacts and resources:

NYC Department of City Planning

The Department of City Planning is responsible for zoning and land use regulations in New York City.

  1. Brooklyn Office: 16 Court Street, 7th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11241
  2. Phone: 718-780-8280
  3. Zoning Help Desk: 212-720-3291 or fill out the Zoning Information Inquiry Form

Mayor's Office of Special Enforcement (OSE)

OSE is the city agency that enforces short-term rental laws and handles the registration process for hosts.

  1. Address: 22 Reade Street, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10007
  2. For questions about registration: email registration@ose.nyc.gov
  3. To report suspected illegal short-term rentals: call 311 or submit a complaint online

Useful Online Communities for Hosts

  1. Airbnb Community Center - New York Hosting Forum - Connect with other Airbnb hosts in NYC to discuss local regulations and hosting tips
  2. Airbnb Hosts Forum - An active forum for Airbnb hosts worldwide to share experiences and advice
  3. New York City Airbnb Hosts Facebook Group - A private Facebook group for Airbnb hosts in NYC to discuss challenges and strategies
  4. BiggerPockets NYC Real Estate Forum - NYC-focused discussions on BiggerPockets, a popular real estate investing site

By contacting the appropriate city agencies and connecting with other local hosts online, you can get the most up-to-date information on short-term rental rules in Kings County. It's important to ensure you are operating legally and in compliance with all zoning and registration requirements to avoid potential fines and penalties.

What Do Airbnb Hosts in Kings County on Reddit and Bigger Pockets Think about Local Regulations?

Based on discussions from Airbnb hosts on Reddit, BiggerPockets, and Airbnb's community forums, it's clear that many hosts in Kings County (Brooklyn) are frustrated with the strict short-term rental regulations, especially after the enforcement of Local Law 18 in September 2023. Here are some key takeaways:

In the r/AirBnB subreddit, one host lamented that "The situation is hopeless (at least in NYC)" after Local Law 18 went into effect, requiring all short-term rental hosts to register with the city and only rent their primary residence with the host present. The host noted that even listings with great reviews were "total dumps" and speculated many had fake reviews.

On the BiggerPockets forums, a real estate investor posted about "Medium-Term Rentals For Hosts and Local Law 18", suggesting hosts pivot to renting properties for 1-6 months to traveling professionals to avoid the strict short-term rental regulations. However, commenters pointed out that most buildings in NYC, especially co-ops, prohibit any rentals under 12 months.

In an Airbnb Community forum thread titled "Brooklyn Condo Buildings that Permit Airbnb?", a host asked if anyone knew of condos that allowed short-term rentals in neighborhoods like Park Slope, Prospect Heights and Clinton Hill. No one was able to provide any leads, underscoring how few buildings permit Airbnbs.

Another Airbnb Community thread bluntly stated "Hosting in New York City has become a nightmare" and questioned if investing in NYC Airbnbs was still viable compared to other markets with fewer restrictions.

The overall sentiment among NYC hosts, especially in Kings County, is that the short-term rental landscape has become extremely challenging and risky due to the strict local laws prohibiting unhosted rentals under 30 days. Many are considering alternative approaches like medium-term rentals, but are finding their options limited. Some hosts are continuing to operate illegally, but face steep fines if caught. The regulations have made it very difficult for hosts to run viable short-term rental businesses in the city compared to years past.

Disclaimer: While we here at BNBCalc strive to keep all of our regulation guides updated and accurate with all the latest local laws, we still do not suggest using them as your sole or primary source for local regulations. We also do not recommend you rely on the third-party sources we link to or reference, and we are not responsible for any of the information on these third-party sites. These guides are for entertainment purposes only and only provide basic information and should not be considered as legal advice.

We highly recommend directly contacting the responsible parties for each and hearing what their officials have to say. Ultimately, it's your responsibility as an investor to ensure you fully comply with the local laws, and it's best to speak with professionals before making an investment decision.

⚡️
Reveal your property’s rental profitability

Buy this property and list it on Airbnb.