New Yorkers have been subletting on the sly since way before Craigslist started matching them with tenants. You go on vacation for a few weeks, you find someone to rent your place for those weeks you're gone, and everybody's happy except your freaked-out cat. But the state Legislature is considering a new bill that would make that practice illegal. (Don't worry, there's a "cat-sitting situation" subsection.)

The bill was originally written to prevent building owners from illegally converting apartments into hotel rooms, but the wording throws a blanket over short-term renters as well. The bill would ban renting out an apartment for shorter than 30 days, except in situations where no money is exchanged or a temporary visitor is caring for pets or plants. Bill supporter State Senator Liz Krueger said the bill is meant to target seedy landlords, not average residents trying make some cash from a short-term rental. She told the Times, "The city is not going to knock on doors."

Still, those who offer rentals or take advantage of such offers are upset that they may soon be forced to pay New York hotel prices to stay in the city. Brian Chesky, co-founder of vacation rental website, said, "This legislation is being painted as slumlords who convert apartments to illegal hotels. But as far as I can tell, this will affect thousands of families, young professionals and elderly people." And Sean O'Neill of Budget Travel writes, "If you can save $150 a night on your visit to New York City, who is harmed? Who is really being hurt here by short-term sublets?...It encourages ordinarily law-abiding people, like me, to break the law because the law is so inane."

The bill passed the state Senate in a 32-28 vote last week, but has yet to be voted on by the Assembly. Protesters have created an online petition, blaming the bill on "Big Hotel" lobbyists. At press time 18 people had signed up.