New York Goes to War Against Airbnb and Roomorama

Your spare bedroom is not your own.

My kids moved out! I have two empty rooms in my apartment. Maybe I can rent them? A tourist visiting New York City could have a different experience, and save hotel money. I’d make money. Wouldn’t it be great?

No, says the government of my state.

Gustavo da Cunha Pimenta / photo on flickrGustavo da Cunha Pimenta / photo on flickrNew York recently passed a law making it very difficult for people to offer short-term rentals via popular websites like Airbnb and Roomorama, which connect room-owners and room-renters. I could be fined $25,000 if I rent to tourists through those services.

New York State Sen. Liz Krueger defended the law on my TV show.

"Tenants all over the city are begging their legislators for help. They were being harassed by strangers in the middle of night entering their building, moving into the apartments next door ... violating the fire code, the safety code, and harassing people, sometimes very aggressively, out of the buildings."

Please. Of course some renters behave badly. But they can be dealt with by building owners. There’s no need for authoritarian governments to ban consenting adults from renting to each other.

Krueger says that despite these services’ rapid growth, their customers are unhappy -- and that despite the online customer-satisfaction reviews and ratings that enable everyone to compare thousands of different offerings, and blacklist renters and homeowners who behave badly, customers are being duped.

“They think they’re signing up for a hotel room. They pay through a credit card. They walk into a situation that is not safe, not clean.”

This is how politicians think.

Jia En Teo, co-founder of Roomorama, has a different explanation for why businesses like hers are attacked by politicians: “Short-term rentals have been growing in popularity ... that has posed competition to hotels.”

At age 26, Teo left a job at Bloomberg media to start Roomorama. She understood business -- but didn’t have political pull. Big hotel chains and their unions do. They have lobbyists who pressure legislators. The Hotel Association of New York says people who use sites like Roomorama risk their safety.

But despite such fearmongering, Roomorama hasn’t been squashed. It now operates in 5,000 cities around the world. Tourists get to use empty apartments and pay less. They get a novel experience. Property owners make money. Win-win!

But Roomorama threatens the status quo. Hotels and hotel unions don’t like it. Regulators who issue permits to hotels don’t like it. So the established businesses, the insiders, work with friendly politicians to craft rules that crush the newcomers.

Economists call that process “regulatory capture.” It happened even during the New Deal. FDR railed against “the money interests” and pushed through regulations controlling what businesses could do, including establishing a minimum wage, maximum hours, agreed-upon production levels and minimum prices for each industry, to eliminate “cutthroat competition.” Working at night was forbidden. Government enforcers made surprise inspections and could seize control of businesses on the spot.

It turned out that most of those regulations were shaped by big business itself, because the established businesses didn’t want competition, and both business and regulators like predictability.

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  • sarcasmic||

    What was last week's Stossel about? Oh yeah. Airbnb and Roomorama.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    Hey, this is THAT important!

  • jomobiqodewuA2||

    Stella. you think Barbara`s st0rry is surprising... last thursday I got themselves a Jaguar XJ from making $8348 this last four weeks and would you believe, $10k last-month. without a doubt it is the easiest-work Ive had. I began this 5 months ago and pretty much immediately started bringing in at least $75 per-hour. I went to this web-site....grand4.com
    (Go to site and open "Home" for details)

  • plusafdotcom||

    fuck off, troll...

  • SugarFree||

    Yeah. Fuck food trucks and gay marriage and pot. The only potential libertarians we should be going after are old white guys with guns and a proper respect for our brave LEOs, you know, the ones that abandon libertarian politics the minute a cadaverous Republican presidential candidate show a little leg by promising to glass those fucking towelheads in Iranistan!

  • Virginian||

    Eh, I get really frustrated with people my age who are young urban tech people. You know, they think the government is needlessly harassing Apple, but not doing enough to destroy ExxonMobil.

    Or they think stuff like Uber is great, but don't understand why the government hasn't yet closed down LuckyGunner.

  • ||

    I think you missed NutraSweet's point. By a mile.

  • Virginian||

    No, I didn't.

  • robc||

    Im not sure I got it.

    Is the yeah in agreement or sarcastic?

  • SugarFree||

    Sarcastic. Screaming cosmo every time the writers are trying to find some angle to make libertarianism palatable to young people is extremely counter-productive.

  • jomobiqodewuA2||

    Stella. you think Barbara`s st0rry is surprising... last thursday I got themselves a Jaguar XJ from making $8348 this last four weeks and would you believe, $10k last-month. without a doubt it is the easiest-work Ive had. I began this 5 months ago and pretty much immediately started bringing in at least $75 per-hour. I went to this web-site....grand4.com
    (Go to site and open "Home" for details)

  • Randian||

    The root of liberty is economic liberty, and there is one group that at least has some promise in that regard and one that does not.

    That said, I don't much like the Yokeltarian reflex either.

  • ||

    At the local small business level, that group that has promise is the young one.

  • Randian||

    never considered that. I would think the boom in entrepreneurship is a fertile field, though. Good point.

  • Hyperion||

    It's all about cronyism, of course. Protecting the big hotels, while pretending to protect consumers.

    I saw this on Stossel few nights ago.

  • Doctor Whom||

    Tenants all over the city are begging their legislators for help.

    Yeah, right.

  • Pro Libertate||

    That which is not permitted is verboten!

  • Bill Dalasio||

    That which is not mandatory is prohibited.

  • Pro Libertate||

    That which is, is not.

  • WTF||

    Do, or do not; there is no 'try'.

  • Pro Libertate||

    To be or not to be.
    -- Shakespeare

    To do is to be.
    -- Nietzsche

    To be is to do.
    -- Sartre

    Do be do be do.
    -- Frank Sinatra

  • JEP||

    Scooby dooby do.
    - Scooby do

  • Pro Libertate||

    Yo, Adrian.
    --Rocky Balboa

  • MaryWanna||

    Which Doobie you be?

    Rodger Thomas

  • Matrix||

    Who do you voodoo, bitch?
    --Sam B

  • Radioactive||

    you do that voodoo that you do so well...

  • ||

    Everything not forbidden is compulsory

  • Alice Bowie||

    I never agree with John Stossel. However, I don't see why it is illegal to participate in this idea.

    It should be up to the Condo/Coop/Apartment Management Company whether or not the tenants can participate.

    Being familiar with NYC COOPs, I doubt any of those buildings would allow this.

  • ||

    Fuck off, sockpuppet.

  • robc||

    I never agree with John Stossel.

    Except when I do.

  • Certified Public Asskicker||

    I bet Alice also has a mustache.

  • Juice||

    I don't see why it is illegal to participate in this idea.

    Because there are words on paper that make it illegal.

  • Alice Bowie||

    Believe it or not, it isn't the hotels. These complaints come more from people living in the buildings and people that ended up renting a crack-house in Harlem.

    I'm Surprised at John, he lives in NYC.

    Try to get a hotel in NYC. Forget about the price, there's no availability. Plus, as I mentioned earlier, NO COOP or CONDO in Manhattan would allow this practice. These boards don't allow sub-leases.

  • Virginian||

    These complaints are coming from hotels who see a threat to their business.

    It's right in there in the article.

  • sarcasmic||

    No amount of facts can change what she feels to be true. Remember, you can lead a leftist to knowledge, but you can't make them learn.

  • ||

    Or:
    You can lead a lefty to knowledge, but you can't make him think.

  • Alice Bowie||

    I am disagreeing with the article.

  • sarcasmic||

    So you "disagree" with facts when they do not conform to your world view.

    How very convenient.

  • EdwinNJ||

    Yeah, and Stossel cites absolutely no data or events that prove his claim.

    I'm not saying it isn't the hotels complaining to protect their industry, just that there isn't actually anything substantial in the article.

  • Alice Bowie||

    Thanks Edwin.

    All I am saying is

    1. I DISAGREE with THIS LAW
    2. Local Tenants pushed for the law and not the Hotel Mafia...It's not like Hotels are lobbying local NY Politicans or would be hurt by someone in Harlem renting a room.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    I'm saying you are a piece of shit.

  • Rhywun||

    And these aren't "sub-leases", it's just letting someone borrow your place for awhile. That said, I wouldn't be surprised to see new leases specifically prohibit this practice. Which is where it belongs, not with the city government who has no business meddling with the agreement between me and my landlord.

  • Sevo||

    Alice Bowie| 5.22.13 @ 12:27PM |#
    "Believe it or not, it isn't the hotels."

    Take two smart pills and sleep it off.

  • Randian||

    First of all, I do not think these things are properly called "subleases".

    Second of all, you seem to labor under the delusion that the majority of Manhattanites live in board-controlled properties. This isn't television - many apartments in NY are simply just that: apartments.

  • Alice Bowie||

    In fact, most are.

    However, landlords can control subleasing and outright deny them as well. And many do.

    Look, this problem isn't new. It wasn't that Roomorama came to town.

    Since Craigslist was around people have been doing this for a long time.

    I agree that it should NOT be illegal.

    You people seem to have a problem with the Building owner/Property Managers making policies of property that they own. If tenants don't like it, they can find buildings where such a policy doesn't exists. And there are many of them.

    I thought you guys are for the BIG GUY?

  • Randian||

    I don't care about the policies. The problem I have is with you stretching the definitions of words beyond all meaning.

    You cannot even stay consistent within your own post. Are most properties board-controlled or are they not?

    Have you even been to New York or do you just get all of your information on it from Sex and the City?

  • Alice Bowie||

    Not only do I live in NY (30miles north of NYC), I own rental property in NYC.

    And, I don't have policies against short-term rentals.

  • Randian||

    Well, so far you have claimed there is no hotel availability (false), the prices of any hotel make the market such that hotels have no incentive to go against short-term rentals (false), and that most properties are board controlled (false), so you'll have to forgive me if I don't believe you.

  • Alice Bowie||

    What I'm saying is that Roomarana is not much competition to hotels.

    The people that stay in hotels generally don't want to stay in someone's room.

    People that need cheap rooms usually can't afford many of our hotels.

    I don't buy the argument that Hotels lobbied for this regulation.

    As a New Yorker, I can see neighbor's not wanting this.

  • Randian||

    Now you're just making more things up. I am a frequent traveler who has used both hotels and airbnb, and there are distinct advantages and disadvantages to each.

    And your hotels are not that expensive. how many times need it be said?

  • EdwinNJ||

    Dude, she's right.

    Again, Stosse doesn't even cite any evidence that it's the hotels lobbying.

    It isn't that much competition for them, it's a different market. In case you haven't noticed, poor people who are only willing to pay $80 for an entire weekend are NOT rich asshole types who will pay $250 a night just so they can be in the East Village or whatever so they can go to their hoighty toighty hoofy poofy bakery to buy croissants from whatever celebirty chef with just a walk as opposed to taking public transit

  • Randian||

    So yes, you too have no idea what you're talking about. You're just peddling in teevee stereotypes.

  • RBS||

    rich asshole types who will pay $250 a night just so they can be in the East Village or whatever so they can go to their hoighty toighty hoofy poofy bakery to buy croissants from whatever celebirty chef with just a walk as opposed to taking public transit

    Who's the asshole here?

  • Randian||

    My thoughts exactly, RBS. Ironically, it seems as if "EdwinNJ" has never even been to New York.

  • Enigma||

    Again Stossel doesn't even cite any evidence that it's the hotels lobbying.

    He doesn't need to. There are parallels between this and black market cabs and taxi medallions. Private cabs decrease taxi company profits. Private rooms decrease hotel company profits. Also the markets are different but they do overlap. Who says the rich don't want to save money? Who says the poor don't want to treat themselves to a nice experience? What about middle class people? And, as stated above, hotels aren't that expensive, especially if you plan.

    hoighty toighty hoofy poofy

    What the hell is this?

  • robc||

    I thought you guys are for the BIG GUY?

    ???

    Individuals are the big guy?

  • Randian||

    Try to get a hotel in NYC. Forget about the price, there's no availability.

    Oh, and also: this is total BS. I pulled a decent room in the Village for under $100 a night doing the Priceline bid thing. There's no availability in the immediate in a lot of the hotels because of Sandy, but your statement generally is not true at all.

  • KDN||

    Seriously, that has to be one of the dumbest things ever written. I just went to Priceline and got listings for over 700 hotels in Manhattan alone for the next week; there's no lack of availability.

  • KDN||

    Erm, 300. You'll always make the dumbest mistakes when calling someone else dumb.

  • RBS||

    Try to get a hotel in NYC.

    It took me about 10 seconds to find about 5 dozen rooms available in several hotels.

  • Randian||

    Bingo.

  • Alice Bowie||

    I said price and availability.

  • RBS||

    Forget about the price, there's no availability.
  • Alice Bowie||

    I stand corrected

  • Randian||

    And I just told you that last year I pulled a room for under $100 a night. In a good chain hotel.

    You're just making things up now.

  • Alice Bowie||

    Hotels.com

    I'm not including Jersey City, Newark, and Brooklyn.

    There are two under $100 (you'd be better off with Roomarana). The rest are over $100.

    And, I didn't pick this holiday weekend.

    Things are a bit pricy around here.

  • robc||

    Brooklyn is NYC.

    Want to exclude Jersey, fine, but Brooklyn damn well counts.

  • Alice Bowie||

    Fine, there's a cheap hotel on 248nd St in Bronx. It's real cheap.

  • Enigma||

    He said Brooklyn, which to my knowledge, is part of New York City. The Bronx is also part of New York City.

  • ||

    I found at the Lexington for $170 a night including parking in March.

    Pricey but hey, it's NYC.

  • ||

    I should add I had the choice of several hotels. Not that hard to find.

  • Sevo||

    OT, but fun with gov't agencies:
    Turns out the OMG NEW SF Bay Bridge is built with some parts that are now found not to measure up. Who might be to blame for this fiasco, you ask?
    Why that darn company that SOLD the parts, that's who!
    "Supplier urged use of banned Bay Bridge rods"
    Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/.....z2U2YJ24uh

    As one of the commenters notes, I've been trying to sell bridge anchorages to the wrong folks, like Alice just above.
    I should have been 'urging' Cal Trans to buy them!

  • EdwinNJ||

    There's nothing in the article that actually shows that it;s the hotels pushing for legal changes. Not saying that it isn't them, just that Stossel hasn't provided any evidence. Just like I mentioned in an above comment.
    It probably is the hotels to some extent, but in general our governments like to regulate out free-wheeling residential practices to discourage the seedier elements of society and problems like that in general.
    So, laws regulating hotels in general are reasonable. However, they only are (until the referenced law was passed) and only should deal with proper hotels, that is, places that are open to ANYONE in the public. The minute there's a planning run-up to renting someone's room, there's a vetting process. You actually talk to the guy on the phone and can at least superficially vet that he's not unbalanced, and with these websites there are actually reviews for the people and the room-owners.

  • EdwinNJ||

    On top of that, most landlords ban sub-leasing in their contracts, and obviously co-ops nd condos. And I dunno who said it above, but I'm pretty sure the way lease contracts are written it IS sublease. It may be short-term, but it still counts as subleasing, the language in the contracts is broad, I would imagine it just references ANY changing of money for a room. So it's not so big a problem as the govs say it is.

    But in general, I think you libertarians, and to some extent the govs, are forgetting the basic gray-area, lack-of-enforcement principle. Laws like this and just basic hotel law only are and only can be enforced by complaint. People will only complain if it causes a problem. If you've caused a problem, then you do indeed deserve to be censured in some way. So the situation kinda solves itself. It's only really illegal if you cause some serious problem. The same dynamic applies to the breaking the landlord lease issue. And the same dynamic applies to lots of laws. Like dog-leash laws, I let my dog off the leash ALL THE TIME, but NO ONE complains, and she is a total doll, she's NEVER been agressive. If some idiot lets his dog off leash and the dog does have some history of agression, then he's the asshole when his dog bites someone, and should be fined.

  • EdwinNJ||

    All that is separate of course from them trying to shut down the website.
    And please let's not be all like "OMG! BUT THEY CAN FINE YOU $25,000 JUST FOR RENTING A ROOM!" to what I said about hotel laws in general. That's not how it works, these guys renting rooms out for the weekend for like $80 are not getting fined $25,000 for it, that's not how it works.

  • John Thacker||

    Actually, one of those said guys was threatened with getting fined for $25,000, but *only* got fined $2400. The guy in the decision was found to have had one pair of guests for 3 days, and fined $2400.

  • EdwinNJ||

    OK, so the fine was only $2400, not insane, proving half my point

    and the only reason they found out was the renters were so dumb they actually told the inspector. Not to be expected, you;d think everyone would know to be hush-hush.
    And the authorities only found out when these dumb cunts blabbed

    proving my point

  • John Thacker||

    I don't see how it "proves your point" that they were actually causing a problem, and that people will only complain in some situations. I thought your point was that people "causing a problem" deserved to be punished, not that "dumb cunts from another country that don't know all the local laws and people who rent to them should be punished."

    Abuses of the law happen, but you think that they're rare enough and don't happen to your sort of people, so it's tolerable, because otherwise it would be harder to punish the people who really go over the line.

  • EdwinNJ||

    it proved my point because it's rare and unexpected. It doesn't violate the basic truism that most of the time, most people don't cause problems and nothing gets reported, and that reporting usually only happens when someone causes serious problems.

    //Abuses of the law happen, but you think that they're rare enough and don't happen to your sort of people, so it's tolerable, because otherwise it would be harder to punish the people who really go over the line.

    I think it's a flaw that has to be lived with, and it sure as hell beats remedying said flaw by introducing your system that in all likelyhood wouldn't even be capable of functioning , and to any extent that it did, would do its job rarely and with great expense and time.

  • Jordan||

    So, laws regulating hotels in general are reasonable.

    No, not really.

    If some idiot lets his dog off leash and the dog does have some history of agression, then he's the asshole when his dog bites someone, and should be fined.

    You don't need a dog leash law for that.

  • John Thacker||

    People will only complain if it causes a problem. If you've caused a problem, then you do indeed deserve to be censured in some way.

    Actually, some busybodies and assholes will complain even if you haven't caused a problem, or if, say, the only problem that you've "caused" is allowing people with the wrong skin color or ethnicity or age or whatever to live near them for a while.

    So the situation kinda solves itself. It's only really illegal if you cause some serious problem.

    No, it's always illegal, it's just that only certain people are punished, mostly those who offend the connected. You're getting very close to people who think that pot laws aren't a problem because it only hits the poor people who might abuse it, not the responsible people.

    If some idiot lets his dog off leash and the dog does have some history of agression, then he's the asshole when his dog bites someone, and should be fined.

    All you're doing is making a case that what is illegal (and someone should be liable for) is the dog biting someone, not being off the leash per se. What you're doing is still illegal, because of the dumb law.

  • EdwinNJ||

    You're clearly obsessed with understanding the law as somehting that's meant to be the end-all be-all of behavior regulation, when it's not. Laws have to be enforced, and it's usually after the fact, which most people understand and which is why they aren't against every little law and why libertarians are so alone in the population.

    //Actually, some busybodies and assholes will complain even if you haven't caused a problem,

    Only if they FIND OUT in the first place. They're not freaking spies. You're really only going to have a complaint if theres a noise probem or smell problem, possibly from drug use, or damage to something in the building.

    Would it really kill you to be reasonable to admit the law is JUST the law? It only technically must be followed all the time, the rest of us know it;s there for when there IS a problem.

  • Jordan||

    the rest of us know it;s there for when there IS a problem.

    Or when a government official or neighbor wishes to settle a vendetta.

  • EdwinNJ||

    I like how you completely glazed over the fact that no one would know if you actually sub-let your room for a weekend

  • John Thacker||

    Except that in the recent case, it really was just a weekend, a total of three times. That's actually what got them in trouble; the law only restricts stays under 30 days.

    I find it interesting but untenable that you're insisting that people *never* report people unreasonably. You'd be better off arguing that it's rare, and too bad for people who have excessively busybody neighbors who know how to use the law.

  • EdwinNJ||

    I never said nevr ever ever ever 100% ever. If I ever said "never", you should clearly understand that as "very rare", though I'm quite sure I remember using the word "rarely". If you're gonna play Sheldon-Cooper Aspberger douche-nerd, then we can't have a reasonable conversation.

    ANd again, the dumb cunts who actually rented the place were the ones who blabbed, which is just ridiculous and unexpected.

  • John Thacker||

    ANd again, the dumb cunts who actually rented the place were the ones who blabbed, which is just ridiculous and unexpected.

    Right, a building inspector came by, knocked on all the apartment doors, and the renters volunteered the information. So far, it doesn't sound like there was any evidence of a noise problem or smell problem or drug use or damage to the building, possibly not even a complaint, just a routine inspection and volunteering of the information by people who didn't know the local laws.

    So this is just a rare case where the people weren't causing a problem, but being foreigners who didn't know the law, they were "dumb cunts" in your view and deserved to be punished.

  • John Thacker||

    I never said nevr ever ever ever 100% ever.

    Right, you only said it would "only" happen if there was a real problem. You were engaging in hyperbole, but it still doesn't make sense to me to have the crime not be closer to what you think is the actual offense, rather than a more remote precursor to the offense (that people can violate without being a problem.)

    If the reason we have leash laws is because of dog bites, why not ban dog bites instead? Of course we wouldn't go to the court system for all of those either, but that's not the point or the problem.

    Why intentionally cast a wider net, assuming that it will never be abused? Simply because you want to make it easier and cheaper to investigate and convict in case where a problem occurs, and you don't mind breaking a few eggs?

  • Jordan||

    Who said there needs to be evidence to file a complaint?

  • EdwinNJ||

    Nobody. I never said anything like that, and it would be an irrelevant topic.

    Please try to stay OT

    Again, try some reading comprehension and good writing;

  • Jordan||

    I'll requote what you said, since you have a very short memory:

    I like how you completely glazed over the fact that no one would know if you actually sub-let your room for a weekend

    You're point depends on the the assumptions that a) the act was actually committed, and b) somebody has evidence of that, when in fact neither are required.

    As I said, anybody can file a complaint, including a government official or neighbor who wishes to settle a vendetta.

  • Jordan||

    Your*

  • EdwinNJ||

    Right, which is completely OT.

    I'm assuming you'd understand that randomly filing complaints won't do anything unless the incident actually occured.

    Unless you're paranoid and you think they'll convict you with no evidence. Which would just be crazy.

    So what's the point of what you said:
    "Who said there needs to be evidence to file a complaint?"

    What, people are gonna file complaints on a regular basis, hoping it'll make a hit at some point? In order to exact a vendetta? You do realize that's illegal, too, right?

  • Jordan||

    I'm assuming you'd understand that randomly filing complaints won't do anything unless the incident actually occured.

    And that's where you're wrong. It can be very costly in terms of both time and money to comply with and defend youself against erroneous investigations.

    You do realize that's illegal, too, right?

    I can call in anonymous tips to city code enforcers all day long with no fear of reprisal.

  • EdwinNJ||

    //And that's where you're wrong. It can be very costly in terms of both time and money to comply with and defend youself against erroneous investigations.

    I don't think that's correct.
    If we're talking about the room-renting, they'll really ned some sort of evidence to proceed. I mean, what the hell are they gonna do? Even if they do manage to go into your place, if no one else is there, then NO ONE ELSE IS THERE.

    //I can call in anonymous tips to city code enforcers all day long with no fear of reprisal

    I'm pretty sure if you're doing it repeatedly and against the same person/unit, it's illegal. At the very least they'll stop paying attention to you.
    Again, all you've set up is the ridiculous possibility where someone with a vendetta calls everyday over and oer again complaining against someone until one day it just happens to coincide with the day you're renting the place to a traveller, which is absurd. Doubtless they'd be ignoring the caller by the 3rd day.

  • EdwinNJ||

    Anyway, this is all irrelevant, because like I said, all you've done is shwo one negative, to justify your EXTREME proposed overhaul of our entire system of governance, which, while it would remedy that one negativem would bring with it EXTREME negatives of its own, and probably just outright would fail.

  • Jordan||

    Right, which is completely OT.

    No, it's not, since you asserted that complaints would only happen when a problem actually occurs.

  • EdwinNJ||

    //you asserted that complaints would only

    I never asserted that. Like I said, you can't take everything I say as universal. You can't win a debate by playing aspberegr-douche Sheldon Cooper. If i said "only" I clearly mean "the majority of the time" If I say "Never" I clearly mean "rarely".

    You're plying the same game insecure 5-th grade girls do after indoctrination in feminism - "NO! See, I'm bigger than that boy!" - regardless of the fact that the biological fact is that men are USUALLY bigger

  • Jordan||

    I never asserted that. Like I said, you can't take everything I say as universal.

    Yeah, actually I can. You're the one who was admonishing me for not being precise enough in my language. If you don't want to make a universal statement, then don't.

    Regardless, tt's still not off-topic, unless you're asserting your own comment of "You're really only going to have a complaint if theres a noise probem or smell problem, possibly from drug use, or damage to something in the building" was off-topic.

  • John Thacker||

    Laws have to be enforced, and it's usually after the fact, which most people understand and which is why they aren't against every little law and why libertarians are so alone in the population.

    True, people only care when that law is suddenly turned around on them by a vindictive prosecutor or a especially busybody neighbor. But those things certainly do happen. They mostly happen to the poor and unconnected, but the upper middle class actually prefers that those sort of Not Our Kind people are controlled and prevented from causing noise or smell problems, or whatever.

  • EdwinNJ||

    //But those things certainly do happen

    Right. But one bug does not mean the whole system should be thrown out.

    Most of the time, this doesn't happen.

    And the upper-middle and upper classes separate themseves from the "lowers" mostly (mostly by a wide margin) through other means, like things as simple as living in wealthy areas, to requiring expensive college for every little job, and other such nonsense.

  • EdwinNJ||

    Like I said you have very little gain for extreme expense in what you propose.

    Here you're only negative is that some people may sometimes use the law to exact a vendetta but that rarely happens.

    But on the other hand endless torts would be insanely expensive and time consuming for very ineffective punishment-doling (and thereby very ineffective behavior-regulation)

  • KDN||

    People will only complain if it causes a problem.

    You live in NJ and you posted this in all seriousness? How oblivious can you be?

  • EdwinNJ||

    Very serious. My dog leash-law example is a pretty apt comparison below.

    People do all kinds of rentals all the time. Other people only complain when there's a problem.

  • Robert||

    Not only that, but he doesn't say exctly what the provisions of the law are. I don't think NYC has made it illegal to sublet or to rent our rooms. Have they made it illegal to advertise them in certain ways? Or to use a (heh) clearinghouse?

  • EdwinNJ||

    //You don't need a dog leash law for that.

    Actually, you do. Otherwise, the libertarian "solution" is I go out of my way to follow the guy, somehow try to get some form of ID from him by looking at his license plate, the follow through on that ID (does that state even let you find people via license plates?), then go to his county's courthouse, then file a civil suit. Then wait a year, then go to court, then finally maybe get some money from him.

    Sorry, police-enforced fines are a lot easier and effective

  • Jordan||

    Uh, no. If his dog bites you, that's assault, negligent or otherwise. Same as if his car hits you.

  • EdwinNJ||

    //Uh, no. If his dog bites you, that's assault, negligent or otherwise. Same as if his car hits you.

    No it isn't, it depends on how your state defines assault. Usually, from what I know it isn't assault. Instead, they have laws and fines for this stuff, like leash laws.
    And the idea that it's assault would mean the guy gets arrested, which is still more onerous on everyone and less effective. Just having laws and fines is more effective.

  • Jordan||

    No it isn't, it depends on how your state defines assault.

    I told you the libertarian solution. Whether your state implements it or not is irrelevant.

    And the idea that it's assault would mean the guy gets arrested

    Wrong. Misdemeanor assault usually results in a fine.

  • Jordan||

    Oh, and define "effective".

  • EdwinNJ||

    I don't need to define everything down to Kantian/philosophical logic of what "is" is. If we're to have a reasonable conversation, you have to be reasonable.

    Clearly, good laws should strive to be quickly an easily implemented, with quickly-administered punishments, without being costly or time-consuming to anyone.

    If I have to take every a-hole to court for every minor violation, then clearly we'd be far from that.
    But that's still every 21-year-old nerd-ass libertarian's completely uninformed dream.

  • Jordan||

    Clearly, good laws should strive to be quickly an easily implemented, with quickly-administered punishments, without being costly or time-consuming to anyone.

    I see no mention of due process. You see, different people have a different idea of what constitutes effective, so there's nothing unreasonable about asking you to define it.

    But that's still every 21-year-old nerd-ass libertarian's completely uninformed dream.

    This is your idea of a resonable conversation?

  • EdwinNJ||

    //I see no mention of due process. You see, different people have a different idea of what constitutes effective, so there's nothing unreasonable about asking you to define it.

    No, not really. No reasonable person thinks it's reasonable for every minor infraction, even DOG BITES, to have to go through the court system every single time.

    If you can't see that, you;re not reasonable.

  • Jordan||

    Argument by assertion.

  • EdwinNJ||

    Oh please,
    If you're gonna play Sheldon-Cooper Aspberger douche then there is no reasonable conversation.

    Face it, you're a screw compared to everyone else. At least own it. If you honestly prefer a useless system of endless torts and expensive court systems for every little thing, then just say that. Own it
    Then the rest of us c tell you your ideas are ridiculous

  • John Thacker||

    No reasonable person thinks it's reasonable for every minor infraction, even DOG BITES, to have to go through the court system every single time.

    Sure. But if your claim is that we need leash laws to punish people whose dogs bite people (in a way that deserves punishment), why not have the actual dog biting and other offenses be what's illegal (knowing that it's still not reasonable to go to the courts for all of them) rather than being on a leash?

  • EdwinNJ||

    I didn't say we need leash laws to punish people whose dogs bite, I'm only implying that it helps, and helps make the whole process a lot easier

    which throughout the thread I've basically proven, compared to your cockamamie system of endless torts

    On top of the fact that to a cop (and to courts a year later), he might not know for sure which dog bit who or whatever, or if he bit only after one owner defended his dog from another. But every witness will easily be able to tell you if the dog was off-leash.
    Again, makes the process easier.

    And moreover, there OUGHT to be leash laws. Putting risks on other people is an externality. Aren't you guys in favor of limiting those. If danger/risk isn't an externality, why the hell not?

    And furthermore, it's preventative. Why the hell can't the law be preventative to a reasonable degree?

  • NowWhatian Boghog||

    Yay! A new brain dead troll! Can we keep him?

  • Randian||

    Wait huh? What do you think happens if you violate the leashing law?

  • Robert||

    Selective enforcement: bug or feature? It's a serious question, with pluses & minuses on both sides. It depends on whether the enforcer uses discretion to sort out the serious from the non-serious, or uses it to harass or extract rents. It's true anywhere there are rules -- not just in law, but in games, families, and formal & informal organiz'ns. People who favor nonflexible rules and strict enforcement are of the opinion that rules can anticipate situations better than the people who favor flexible rules & judgment do.

  • John Thacker||

    I can understand when subleases are banned in rent controlled apartments (and rent controlled plus rent stabilized are about half the apartments in NYC).

  • Rhywun||

    I guess it happens, but it's *really* easy to find a sub-let in NYC. Almost everyone I know has either sub-let or been in a sub-let at some point.

  • EdwinNJ||

    //I told you the libertarian solution

    No you didn't, you miscategorized how assault law works. If by "If his dog bites you, that's assault, negligent or otherwise" you meant to say that's how it WOULD work in libertarian-land, then you should have said that.

    //Misdemeanor assault usually results in a fine

    Well, if the cops are allowed to levy fines, in which case that's actually pretty close to the system of regulations and fines we have now. At the very least you'd have to admit that in those cases, there'd be a presumption of guilt and then the offender would have to go to court and challenge. Which sounds like it would get you libertarians all in a tizzy. Not to mention cops would have to be trusted as witnesses in a court of law, yet another thing that would get libertarian panties in a bunch.

    So it;s either basically the same as what we have now, which is decidedly not libertarian, or a completely useless, onerous system.

    If you;re gonna go that far with fines levied, you might as well admit that it's a hell of a lot easier to just have leash laws, which levies fines after-the-fact the vast majority of the time.

  • Jordan||

    No you didn't, you miscategorized how assault law works. If by "If his dog bites you, that's assault, negligent or otherwise" you meant to say that's how it WOULD work in libertarian-land, then you should have said that.

    "The libertarian solution" = "how it would work in libertarian-land"...

    At the very least you'd have to admit that in those cases, there'd be a presumption of guilt and then the offender would have to go to court and challenge.

    Nope. Instead of dishing out a fine, the cops can charge the person (arrest is not required) and the court can summon them to trial. If they're found guilty, fine them, imprison them, etc.

    So it;s either basically the same as what we have now, which is decidedly not libertarian, or a completely useless, onerous system.

    Yes, due process is onerous, but not useless.

    If you;re gonna go that far with fines levied, you might as well admit that it's a hell of a lot easier to just have leash laws, which levies fines after-the-fact the vast majority of the time.

    I'm not interested in efficiency. I'm interested in justice.

  • EdwinNJ||

    //"The libertarian solution" = "how it would work in libertarian-land"...

    You're still not being clear. You never used the phrase "the libertarian solution". The only things you ever said were "I told you the libertarian solution.", which you didn't, and beofre that you had said "Uh, no. If his dog bites you, that's assault, negligent or otherwise. Same as if his car hits you." which I took as your incorrect understanding of current law. If you meant to say that that's how it would work in libertarian-land, then say that.

    Learn some freaing writing and reading comprehension.

    //Nope. Instead of dishing out a fine, the cops can charge the person (arrest is not required) and the court can summon them to trial. If they're found guilty, fine them, imprison them, etc.

    Right, and that's freggin' retarded. That's so onerous for every little freaking infraction that happens in the world. That would cost the state so god damned much, not to mention everyone else. It's so much easier for a system of fines, and the cop can be a trustworthy witness. Oh, and not to mention that in your scheme cops can't even be trusted as witnesses, which would basically make all enforcement impossible. The nature of policing is to make a judgement about events and whether they're violations of laws.

  • EdwinNJ||

    At the very least, when arresting someone, even for crimes that are so fundamental that they would be illegal in libertarian land, like murder, the cop is making a judgement that the guy may have actually done it, based on testimony and the appearance of the scene he arrives at.

    Yeah, people be directly and immediately held accountable for their screw-ups, GOD FORBID.

  • Jordan||

    The only things you ever said were "I told you the libertarian solution.", which you didn't, and beofre that you had said "Uh, no. If his dog bites you, that's assault, negligent or otherwise. Same as if his car hits you." which I took as your incorrect understanding of current law.

    Which was stated in response to your incorrect assertion of what the libertarian solution would be. I'm not going to spell everything out for you.

    That would cost the state so god damned much, not to mention everyone else.

    *Shrug*. If the state insists upon a massive regulatory state like we have now, then yeah. So what? Overcriminalization should cost a lot.

    The nature of policing is to make a judgement about events and whether they're violations of laws.

    And the nature of justice is to ensure that police are fair and correct in their judgments.

    Yeah, people be directly and immediately held accountable for their screw-ups, GOD FORBID.

    Absolutely, god forbid. There's absolutely no shame in an assumption of innocence.

  • EdwinNJ||

    //Which was stated in response to your incorrect assertion of what the libertarian solution would be. I'm not going to spell everything out for you.

    Yeah, but you wrote it strictly in the present tense. I was assuming you were speaking of what happens when there is no leash-law, but still our current system of common law.
    If you wanted to say what WOULD happen in libertarian land, you should have used one of those key words "WOULD" or "SHOULD". It isn't "spelling everything out", it's basic writing. I can't remember what tense/case it's called, I'm not a grammatician or whatever, but it's when you're speaking of a possible alternate universe.

    //*Shrug*. If the state insists upon a massive regulatory state like we have now, then yeah. So what? Overcriminalization should cost a lot.

    OK, except that you admit even in libertarian-land, certain things would be illegal. There would be tort for dog-bites. THIS IS SOMETHING YOU'D ALSO REGULATE IN SOME WAY, you'd just do it with tort/civil law. And then in the same sentence you're talking about our massive regulatory state and overcirminilization? Your writing is outright falling apart.

    It IS a big deal if law is so onerous and time consuming that NO ONE WANTS TO DEAL IN IT. Then laws, EVEN GOOD ONES, will NOT be able to be enforced. Last I checked, libertarians still want to illegalize things like murder, rape, theft, etc., no?

    //Absolutely, god forbid

  • EdwinNJ||

    Are you really saying that it's terrible if people are held accountble for fucking with other people? Doesn't sound very libertarian to me.

    //There's absolutely no shame in an assumption of innocence

    There is if it makes even good laws, ones that you claim to support, un-enforceable.

  • Jordan||

    Are you really saying that it's terrible if people are held accountble for fucking with other people? Doesn't sound very libertarian to me.

    It's terrible if people are held accountable without due process.

  • EdwinNJ||

    Not really.
    They have due process, they can challenege in court. If they have a real case, they'll probably win.

    Most of the time, they are in violation, they did it, and they have to pay. And this system is muh more effective than anything you've proposed, or any libertarian has for that matter

  • Jordan||

    Yeah, but you wrote it strictly in the present tense.

    As did you.

    OK, except that you admit even in libertarian-land, certain things would be illegal. There would be tort for dog-bites. THIS IS SOMETHING YOU'D ALSO REGULATE IN SOME WAY, you'd just do it with tort/civil law.

    The fact that dog bites would have to go through the court system does not imply overcriminalization, since the vast majority of laws, regulations, and civil codes that exist today would not exist, allowing the courts and police to focus on crimes in which a person's rights are actually violated.

  • EdwinNJ||

    //As did you.

    What the hell are you tlking about? You wrote ""Uh, no. If his dog bites you, that's assault, negligent or otherwise. Same as if his car hits you." How did I write anything in a sentence YOU wrote?

    Reading comprehension, it's great! You oughta try it

    //The fact that dog bites would have to go through the court system does not imply overcriminalization,

    I didn't say it implies overcriminilization. You levied that accuastion on the our current state.
    OK, I see what happened here, youre saying thatr it would only cost a lot because of our current government. Well that's just baloney. Running courtrooms, paying judges, paying lawyers, that's all costly no matter what. Very costly. And you idiots would use that system for every minor thing. You think our CURRENT system is over-regulated and costly? Wait till you guys expect a tort for every minor violation.

    Unless of course, you;d expect that most people just wouldn;t bother. In which case we'd have a shitty world where we all get stomped on by irresponsible jackasses, from drunk drivers and off-leashers, to scamming contractors and unsanitary restaurant owners.

    Yeah, most people prefer more what we have now. A non-shitty world.

    Thought you also forget that people may just black-market enforce their stuff. They'd ignore your "libertarian" government and enforce their own "non-libertarian" (read, sane) government. You gonna fight that? Would be kinda hard when you guys don't wanna spend a lot on military

  • Jordan||

    Reading comprehension, it's great! You oughta try it

    Yes it is! Let me remind you what you wrote:

    EdwinNJ| 5.22.13 @ 1:19PM |#

    //You don't need a dog leash law for that.

    Actually, you do. Otherwise, the libertarian "solution" is
  • EdwinNJ||

    Right, and like I said, the clear interpretation of that would be that you were speaking solely sans-leash-laws, but with common law and victim-ful crime laws still in effect like they are. Which is a common libertarian proposition/theoretical.

    If you were speaking in the context of an imaginary complete overhaul of our entire system, it would have been better if you had said so

  • Jordan||

    Wait till you guys expect a tort for every minor violation.

    No, we expect a tort (or criminal charge) for actual violations of people's rights, which are relatively few. Renting a room to someone does not fall into that category, unlike in your control-freak world.

  • EdwinNJ||

    Agreed on the room renting thing.

    I only said hotel laws are reasonable (you're not always fighting a person who worships law, you freak, so calm down*). And that violations of temporary-residence-banning laws will only be enforced when there's an actual problem, vast majority of the time that'll reflect your concern of actual property rights being violated. This is in particular, like I said noise, building damage, smell, etc.

    But still, actual, no actual, whatever way you wanna spin it , what you propose to replace all laws would be a ridiculous system of endless torts.

    *You're so high-strung on statism, you end up making yoruself unreasonable douches, and assume that even when someone says that MAYBE A CERTAIN LAW ISN'T SO UNREASONABLE, that you're fighting freaking a communist professor who has a cop faiy member or whatever over-statist nightmare you can come up with

  • EdwinNJ||

    And I also did say I don't agree with whatever this new law is, and hotel laws should only deal with hotels open-to-the-public, which is the only objective standard delineating from people who are renting on roombaba or whatever, who unavoidably are NOT open to the public and can vet the renters first by talking to them.

    Again, maybe you oughta look in the mirror if you always think youre fighting uber-statists and make yourself into an extremist in response.

    It's called being reasonable, try it sometime.

  • sgs||

    "Right, and like I said, the clear interpretation"

    Please shut the fuck up, you aren't even coherent enough to understand basic conversational speech, save us your idiotic assumptions about what normally functioning people mean.

  • Enigma||

    Reading comprehension, its great! You oughta try it.

    So is spelling and punctuation.

    OK, I see what happened here, you're saying that it would only cost a lot because of our current government.

    You missed it entirely. The legal system and the government aren't the same. What he is saying is that the current legal system is overloaded with fluff and unnecessary laws that punish victimless crimes. This overloaded system then can't handle true victim producing crimes like murder, dog-bites, etc. Most of these frivolous laws aren't the result of our current government, but of past governments with an appetite to regulate personal choices.

    End bloating and frivolous laws and get a faster legal system.

  • Enigma||

    Unless of course, you'd expect that most just wouldn't bother. In which case we'd have a shitty world...

    The reason why they won't bother is because they don't feel the offenders are worth dealing with. In other words, they think the offenses are small. If I got food poisoning from an unsanitary restaurant, I would sue them to hell. If I got bitten by a dog, I'd sue his owner. I would still sue them even if there was a law that prohibited these practices. The reason why I would sue would be because I had been physically harmed. I wouldn't have sued otherwise.

    Thought you also forget that people may just black-market enforce their stuff.

    Like vigilantism and private, underground courts? You believe these are sane?

    Would be kinda hard when you guys don't wanna spend a lot on military.

    Law enforcement deals with black markets, not the military.

  • EdwinNJ||

    basically, the only advantage you've shown your system would actully have, is that every single violator goes to trial and this way we're SURE that they did it.
    This is not nearly enough to make up for the fact that endless torts would be costly, time consuming, and onerous to a ridiculous degree.

    If you want to live in that world fine, but you have to accept that you;re in the minroity. And you can never claim non-libertarians are not libertarian simply because they don't have the facts or don't understand or are "sheep" or wheatever such nonsense

  • CampingInYourPark||

    "This is not nearly enough to make up for the fact that endless torts would be costly, time consuming, and onerous to a ridiculous degree."

    You're making three assumptions.
    1). There are so many crimes against person or property that a court system couldn't possibly handle it practically
    2). Every person who had a their person or property violated would sue for damage.
    3). That the justice system in your world is somehow less cluttered than one that was limited to actual violations against person or property.

  • EdwinNJ||

    1) This is already the case, and we already have most stuff handled by fines with assumptions of guilt (by trusting the cop). Courts are already pretty backed up. And since you guys hate taxes, you definitely would have a smaller court system overall.
    2)Right, and to the extent they didn't, this theoretical world would suck, I went over this in an above comment
    3) Like I said in my world a HUGE amount of irresponsibility is punished via fines, without any court system. The extent to which this covers for actually going to court can't be underestimated.
    Furthermore, most court activity deals with claims that amount to violation of person of property rights. Most of these little regulations are all bout that, only with a real-world view on the subject; risk is an externality, there is such a thing as public property, etc.
    Does Bloomberg wanna ban sugar? Yeah, and that is bulshit. But you being fined for speeding, for keeping a dog off leash irresponsibly and somehting hapenning, or a restaurant owner for keeping a filthy kitchen are all within the scope of property or contract violations.
    It's only when libertarians are deliberately myopic in the understanding of things that they seem not to be.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    "Furthermore, most court activity deals with claims that amount to violation of person of property rights."

    Ummm...no. Most court activity deals with crimes that have no victim or property damage. Go sit in traffic or criminal court for a day and report back.

  • Enigma||

    This +10000 speeding tickets and marijuana uses daily.

  • Txcon||

    The hotel industry may or may not be pushing for these regulations. It's not unreasonable to believe they are because the taxi industry is behind regulation of car sharing.

    But you don't need the hotel industry to oppose this -- the city has plenty of reasons all by itself. How many millions does NYC collect through hotel occupancy taxes?

  • Not Sure||

    ^ This is all incredibly comical. ^

  • sgs||

    Hey, edwin proved his point many times there...or he claimed to, I couldn't tell cause all the flies swarming his posts were obscuring my vision.

  • Whahappan?||

    Yeah, why can't you stupid, paranoid, dishonest, wingnut libertarians engage in a civil discussion about why you want to turn the world into a distopian hellhole?

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    People totally deserve the distopian shit that is resulting and will result from the current situation of things, and I will be entertained by it.

  • Loki||

    Oh yay, the birth of new bouncing baby troll!

  • Mr Whipple||

    These are examples of what they cal "Collaborative Consumption", and it is working very well in France. Imagine that. NY is more oppressive than France.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQa3kUJPEko

  • Mr Whipple||

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    Fuck preemptive laws.

  • CatoTheElder||

    I rented a room in Beijing under similar terms brokered through a similar service.

    That's in Beijing, Peoples Republic of China. Communist f***ing China.

    But, in America, Land of the Free and Home of the Brave, es ist verbotten, Komerad.

    What a pathetic excuse of a free country the USA has become.

  • GroundTruth||

    "Regulatory Capture" ... Gee, I learned a new phrase to add to my "Loss of Liberty" lexicon.

  • Chris Dubuisson||

    If you have a spare room, it should be confiscated by the government so five undocumented Mexican families can be moved in. And you have to feed them and do their laundry.

  • nathan76||

    Nolan. I just agree... Leslie`s bl0g is really cool, on monday I bought a great new Lotus Esprit after having earned $4034 this-last/4 weeks and in excess of $10k last month. this is definitely my favourite work Ive ever done. I started this 10-months ago and practically straight away startad bringin home over $81, per-hour. I work through this link, http://www.fox86.com

  • plusafdotcom||

    Thanks, Mayor Bloomberg... at the rate you're going, virtually everything in NYC will be illegal... unless, of course, it's taxed high enough to make you happy... i.e., to oblivion.

    So sad.

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