Short-Term Sublet Profiteer Escapes Eviction
Even after owners hired a private investigator to document a tenant’s illegal short-term rental activities, the Nolita tenant has managed to avoid getting evicted, due to a technicality. Although the investigation had found that the tenant had been earning $4,500 a month for her rent-stabilized one-bedroom pad—for which she pays $1,400 and that she had been renting for $220 a night to strangers through travel Web sites, according to Manhattan Housing Court papers—the eviction case couldn’t be pursued because the owner had already filed a lawsuit against the tenant for another matter.
Before the illegal subletting drama unfolded, the owner had filed a separate lawsuit against the tenant in 2011 over unauthorized alterations made to her rent-stabilized apartment. Since, in housing court, it’s not possible to pursue two actions against the same defendant at the same time, the owner isn’t able to make an issue of the illegal sublet matter now. The owner, who first sued the tenant in December 2011, said the tenant has complied with a court order to pay four months’ rent in damages.