Ilya Marritz covers business for WNYC.
Airbnb, the popular person-to-person apartment rental website, is trying to block a subpoena by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, calling the probe an “unfounded ‘fishing expedition.’”
In papers filed in state court, Airbnb’s lawyers are asking to keep private the data of about 15,000 residents New York City who’ve used the website over the past three years.
In response, a spokesperson for Schneiderman calls Airbnb's filing a stalling tactic and says he's confident the courts will "allow the attorney general to enforce the law."
Airbnb connects people with an apartment or a room to rent on a short term basis with visitors willing pay to stay there. Schneiderman hasn’t publicly stated his reasons for investigating the company, but a source familiar with the investigation said the Attorney General is targeting property managers and landlords who may be running what amount to illegal hotels.
There are many unresolved legal questions about the circumstances under which New Yorkers may rent out their homes.
Wednesday was Airbnb’s deadline to comply with the subpoena.
Read Airbnb's petition to New York Supreme Court
Read Airbnb's legal memorandum