NYC Apartments Illegally Converted to Rent on Airbnb

I am a tenant in a rent-controlled residential apartment building in New York City. Our landlady has evicted several tenants under the guise she needs the apartment unit for family members. Once they had been vacated, the landlady brought in IKEA furniture and set up the units for Airbnb guests. The new state laws allow for short-term Airbnb rentals of 30 days or more if the host is the lease holder. Because this particular building is rent controlled, the owner gets tax breaks in exchange for abiding by rent regulations. She must lease out units to renters who will carry a minimum of a one-year lease. The NY Department of Buildings inspectors have investigated this situation, have interviewed Airbnb guests within the building and have slapped three sets of fines. The landlady is now facing court proceedings for her illegal conversion of residential apartments into hotel accommodations. Here’s an example of how much money she is making. One particular apartment was vacated in January 2017 with an outgoing rent of $1743. This same apartment is now being listed on Airbnb for $5483 per month. I continue to see this landlady’s listings on Airbnb. I’ve contacted Airbnb to no avail. In a building of 16 apartment units, only five apartments are occupied by leaseholders. When will this end? Airbnb has allowed building owners to turn apartments into hotel units without paying any hotel tax.

Posted in Airbnb Guest Stories, Neighbor Stories and tagged , , , , , .


  1. 1st I think you have to notify NYC housing, not airbnb
    2nd in LA they can evict 1 tenant for immediate family- or mgr, who has to live there for 2 years
    so if it’s being rented out & no immediate family member- its a ruse fraud & illegal.
    new owner of blding did that to tenant- put it up for rent- not for family member
    guy who got evicted left w/out speaking to me,I would have told him what to do; thought he got good payout, put down on house…. found out afterward he spoke to 3 others, falsely evicted.
    this is going on all over Los Angeles; housing & authorities lookout theft, the other way unless you complain to the right agency. sure its same in NY. they try to evict on false grounds. not attacking families, single. he thinks vulnerable. small bldg. he paid too much, then assumed he could evict- or harass few single tenants. no ones moved in 7 yrs, some here 25-35 years. In most of LA county rent control, only 3% yearly increase. also he can evict only 1 tenant for fake family member. not as many as he wants. there is small forced eviction fee, not enough.
    KNOW YOUR RIGHTS! but you have to complain to agency with jurisdiction.
    if I got roommate, had ok when I moved in years ago, there would be no tax.
    I was concerned about theft,my safety. now wonder about how airbnb operates

  2. I live in Los Angeles, CA. I used to pay the Transient Occupancy Tax (hotel tax) out of my earnings. Since August 2016, Airbnb has been paying the Transient Occupancy Tax for all Airbnb listings in Los Angeles.

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