The referendum prohibits using a property as a short-term rental for more than a total of 60 nights a year if the owner is not present.

Voters in Jersey City, New Jersey, a roughly 300,000-resident city directly across the Hudson River from New York City, voted Tuesday to enact new restrictions on short-term rentals.

The restrictions create limitations on what properties and units are eligible to be used as short-term rentals, including certain owner-occupation and zoning requirements. The referendum also prohibits using a property as a short-term rental for more than a total of 60 nights a year if the owner is not present.

Further restrictions put a prohibition on using a property with rent-controlled or government regulations and establish fees for getting short-term rental permits.

The reasoning, according to elected officials, was to protect affordable housing in a city that has seen the number of short-term rentals skyrocketing.

In a statement, Airbnb expressed disappointment in the decision of the voters, which passed the resolution by roughly 70 percent of the vote.

“From the start of this campaign, we knew this was going to be one of the toughest fights we’ve faced, with the big New York hotel industry determined to fight home sharing, but we had an obligation to stand up for our community,” Christopher Nulty, a spokesperson for Airbnb, told Inman in a statement.

“Cities from Buffalo to San Francisco and Boston to Seattle have managed to pass comprehensive short-term rental regulations without punishing tenants or creating red tape and onerous registration systems,” Nulty added. “It’s unfortunate to see the hotel-backed special interests run a campaign that moves Jersey City in a different direction. There are Airbnb listings in over 100,000 cities around the world, and we will continue to do all we can to support hosts.”

On Twitter, Jersey City mayor Steven Fulop celebrated the decision and criticisized Airbnb for its lobbying efforts.

How about that headline @Airbnb …. I just want to say publicly that you brought a campaign of misinformation to Jersey City, you lied, you spent $5
million – and #jerseycity showed you what they thought.

— Steven Fulop (@StevenFulop) November 6, 2019

Across the river, New York Ctiy has also waged a war on short-term rentals, most recently on the legal front. In February, the city demanded Airbnb hand over the details of more than 20,000 apartment listings as part of a attempt to regulate short-term rentals that could have sweeping consequences for the San Francisco-based company.

Issued on Monday, the subpoena is part of New York’s larger legal battle against the short-term rental platform. Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that regulators were trying to identify instances of landlords hosting “illegal hotels” in their apartments.

Email Patrick Kearns

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