Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office said it will rewrite a subpoena to the Airbnb after a judge ruled that the original subpoena issued to the online home rental business was overbroad.
Acting Albany Supreme Court Justice Gerald Connolly (See Profile) quashed the subpoena Tuesday, saying it would give Schneiderman information about rental arrangements made through Airbnb in New York that clearly don’t violate tax or multiple dwelling laws (NYLJ, May 14).
Matt Mittenthal, a spokesman for Schneiderman, said Connolly objected only to a “narrow technical issue” with the original October subpoena in Airbnb v. Schneiderman, 5393-13. “We will reissue the subpoena to address it,” Mittenthal said.
While quashing the subpoena, Connolly wrote that Schneiderman’s office had presented evidence that there are a “substantial” number of Airbnb hosts who may be violating New York laws by renting units in violation of statutes regulating hotels or by not paying state and city taxes on the rental agreements.
Airbnb said in a statement that it wants to work with Schneiderman to “make New York a better place to live, work and visit.”
“This decision is good news for New Yorkers who simply want to share their home and the city they love,” the company said.
During oral arguments, Roberta Kaplan of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison argued on behalf of the company that Airbnb has been seeking clarification for years from New York state and city officials about how their laws relate to the business of Airbnb and other Internet-based apartment-sharing services (NYLJ, April 23).