NYC Fines Airbnb Hosts For 'Illegal' Home Rentals

In October, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed into law one of the nation’s toughest restrictions on Airbnb, which includes hefty fines of up to $7,500 for people who rent out space in their apartments. Several month have passed and the New York Post has learned of “the first casualties of [the] newly enforceable law.” The city has reportedly charged two hosts with a combined total of 17 violations, and since each violation comes with a $1,000 fine, it adds up to $17,000. From their report: Property owner Hank Freid — who was once crowned one of NYC’s “Worst Landlords” by a watchdog group in 2005 — and real estate broker Tatiana Cames were slapped with 17 violations, at $1,000 apiece, for their allegedly illegal listings on Manhattan’s Upper West Side and in Bedford-Stuyvesant, in Brooklyn, according to documents obtained by the Post. Freid, who manages the Marrakech Hotel, was hit with 12 violations for listing SROs in the building on several booking platforms, including, Expedia, Kayak, Hotwire, Travelocity, and Orbitz, the citations reveal. Meanwhile, Cames — who was served with five violations — allegedly posted five separate listings to Airbnb advertising 320 Macon St, which records show she purchased for $2.15M in 2015. The Macon St. property was discovered to have inadequate fire alarms, sprinklers, illegal subdivisions, and a confused bunch of French tourists in a rear unit, according the procured documents. Cames appears to be making money off the vacancies in the building as she attempts to fill the space, as the same units are advertised as “for rent” on her personal website. The listings also seem to suggest that drawing illegal Airbnb-ers into BedStuy will help “diversify” the locale. If Freid and Cames don’t pull their listings, they could be hit with a second set of violations, at $5,000 a pop.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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