NYC Sues Owner for Illegal Airbnb Hotels

The mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement is bringing a lawsuit against an owner who turned rent-stabilized apartments in his four-story Manhattan walk-up into illegal hotels via Airbnb and other platforms. In September 2017, officials found “illegal hotel use” in six out of the nine units inside the Chelsea building. Previously, in August 2014, officials found that two of the units were being unlawfully rented through Airbnb.

The owner continued to operate those illegal hotel rooms, according to the mayor’s office, which pointed to at least 13 complaints since 2014, 23 building and fire violations, three criminal summonses, and one advertising summons.

This is the eleventh such lawsuit the city has brought against owners or operators for illegal hotels. Last month, a landlord paid a $1.2 million lump sum, the largest settlement with the city in an “illegal hotel nuisance abatement case.”