New York Post NYC City Council Schedules Hear Over Airbnb Safety Concerns by Bruce Golding

New York Post
New York Post
NYC City Council Schedules Hear Over Airbnb Safety Concerns
Bruce Golding
01/12/2015

City Council members want to grill the subletting service Airbnb about fears renters could die in a fire while struggling to flee an unfamiliar apartment.

“We need to ensure Airbnb is not putting profit over people by allowing listings that cram too many tourists into apartments far too small to guarantee their safe escape from danger,” said Councilman Ben Kallos (D-Upper East Side).

The council’s Housing and Buildings Committee has scheduled a Jan. 20 hearing over “short-term rentals” arranged through Airbnb and other sites.

In a recent affidavit, an FDNY official said that, unlike hotels, apartments being illegally used for “transient occupancy” don’t offer visitors a “detailed fire-safety and evacuation plan.”

An Airbnb spokesman said the company was “eager to participate” in the hearing, and insisted, “We take safety seriously.”

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