Listing Airbnb as private room even though it's entire home

Hi all. I’m wondering if there’s a good way to do an airbnb listing as a private room and not entire home even though it is an entire home. I just don’t want to have to worry about legality in NYC and trying to find a way to keep it - even if I make less money on the listing. Is this something people are doing? Would that make it legal?

I try to do everything to the letter of the law, but people make personal choices around risk. New Yorkers have always been ingenious about side hustles, and I bet there is some coded language in listings – “You’ll hardly know I’m there,” “I work odd hours and am frequently out,” already being used, or people are advertising via other means, word of mouth, etc. (“Stay for free with me. Feel free to leave a gift.”)
I am NOT recommending this, just sayin’. The new NYC regulations will do what regulations always do when trying to curtail availability of a product that is in demand – drive it further underground and create more of a black market.
Also when your landlord is a good guy or gal, and you are exposing them to additional liability without their knowledge or permission, this bothers me.
This was much less risky in the days when all that might happen is you would get shut down, or get threatened with eviction. Now you all have those building inspectors with their Airbnb data and 1000 ways to get you cited for a $1,000 fine.
I just have a harder time arguing for compliance (as long as you are doing this as an individual and not a rentalpreneur taking housing units off the market to arbitrage the rental rates) in an environment where developers and high volume landlords in NYC consider fines merely a cost of doing business, or have deep enough pockets to pit their attorneys against the city’s attorneys.
Kind of like individuals walking away from a mortgage being judged as to character and morals, vs. businesses failing to meet the terms of a contract or declaring bankruptcy being perceived as “just business” – a contract law or civil matter.
If you have time, join a host group and fight for reasonable regulatory changes.

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I just don’t want to have to worry about legality in NYC…

Then stop trying to circumvent the law. And please don’t come around here trying to solicit us into helping you break the law.

WHEN (not IF) you get caught you’ll make everyone look bad, and your fellow hosts aren’t going to like that.


I just don’t want to worry about the legality of driving over the speed limit.

But I have to if I don’t want to have a hundred speeding tickets. Just because we don’t agree with various laws doesn’t mean we can just break them. Or at least if we do, we have to accept the consequences.


“Wow! I booked just a room, but I got a whole home!”

I imagine a repeated pattern of reviews like that will soon expose you.

You don’t wonder that a particularly keen member of the Anti-STR team would be browsing STR forums? :slight_smile:

i’m trying to find out exactly what’s legal. that’s the whole point of asking other hosts who might know more. perhaps it’s legal if i’m renting as private room. it’s weird to get upset at someone who’s asking questions in a forum for asking questions. it’s ok if you don’t know any answers!

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thanks for the life advice! i’m confused at negative reaction to just asking a question. i’d like to operate it legally if possible and that’s why i’m asking. i’m not a lawyer and expert of all the laws inside and out- especially when they keep changing.

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Sorry for the misunderstandings. People come on here all the time and try to learn ways to subvert the laws and/or restrictions in their areas. We posters just get a little weary of it sometimes. Most of us work hard to color within the lines.

Glad to hear you’re trying to do it legally.