Airbnb listings mostly illegal, New York State contends

airbnb-logoBy David Streitfeld | The New York Times

Airbnb, the pioneering home rental service, presents itself as useful and virtuous, but the reality is far less benign, according to a report that Eric T. Schneiderman, the New York attorney general, released on Thursday.

The report will say nearly three-quarters of all Airbnb rentals in the city are illegal, violating zoning or other laws. Commercial operators, not hard-luck residents, supply more than a third of the units and generate more than a third of the revenue. At least a handful of landlords are running what amount to illegal hostels.

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