Even after her landlord hired a private investigator to out her illegal short term rental activities, a resident of 250 Elizabeth Street has managed to avoid getting evicted. Why? Because of a technicality. Before all the Airbnb drama, landlord Ken Podziba actually filed a separate lawsuit against tenant Amy Parness back in 2011 over unauthorized alterations made to her $1,400/month rent-stabilized apartment. And, in housing court, it's not possible to pursue two cases against the same defendant at the same time. As fodder for the second suit, Podziba's investigator turned up evidence that Parness rented her apartment on Airbnb using a pseudonym and also coordinated short term stays for tourists in her neighbors' places, netting up to $500,000 a year. For his sleuthing, a.k.a. pretending to be an interested renter on Airbnb as well as Roomorama and documenting Parness's communiques, the private investigator took $20K from Podziba, who will have to settle his first suit before continuing the fight to evict Parness. For her part, Parness lost her legal representation, and though the listing is not on Airbnb anymore, there are screenshots. Chalk up one more installment in the battle to determine Airbnb's legality.
· Nolita landlord in Airbnb case loses bid to evict tenant [TRD]
· All Airbnb coverage [Curbed]