Owners Seek to Evict Tenant for Illegal Short-Term Rental
In May, a judge ruled that online short-term apartment rental practices violate city codes and state law. Still, industry leaders estimate 3,000 New Yorkers rent out their apartments to visitors, making an expected $1 billion in profits this year.
Two Nolita owners hired a private detective to pose as a tourist in an attempt to catch a tenant they suspected of illegally renting out her apartment online to strangers. The investigation found that the tenant had been earning $4,500 a month for her rent-stabilized one-bedroom pad—for which she pays $1,400—according to Manhattan Housing Court papers. She has been renting her walk-up unit for $220 a night to strangers through travel Web sites, the court documents state. The owners are seeking her eviction, and court papers further allege that she not only rents out her own apartment, but had handled the subletting of two other tenants’ pads in the eight-unit building, taking a cut for her services.
Her apartment is fully booked through the end of the summer. On July 9, the tenant’s lawyer told the Housing Court Judge that her stepbrother was staying in the unit through August. But when the owners confronted the occupant, he admitted in an affidavit that he’s a Stanford University student interning in New York for the summer.