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AirBnB Might Have Just Won a Huge Landmark Case

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A Manhattan Housing Court judge has ruled that the owners of 33 Gold Street in the Financial District cannot evict a tenant who was renting out her apartment on AirBnB — even though she flouted city law and blatantly violated the terms of her lease — because the Multiple Dwelling Law that prohibits short-term sublets is "generally aimed at the conduct of owners of property, not tenants." Taken as precedent, this could be a huge victory for the embattled short-term rental website.

The tenant in question, Kimberly Freeman, pays $2,350/month in rent but was charging $200/night for AirBnBers to use her apartment, and she acknowledged that her lease expressly forbid such practices. However, while her landlords were operating under the assumption that the illegal sublet was a "noncurable offense," the judge ruled that that was not the case. Freeman will no longer be able to rent out her apartment, but neither will she be evicted.

While the ruling could have widespread implications for AirBnB users citywide, it's unclear how much it will mean for rent-stabilized tenants who sublet their apartments for profit, as they appear to be something of a special case. One such tenant was sued by her landlord last week for charging three times her stabilized rent to live in her Tribeca pad. In light of this most recent ruling, it will be interesting to see what happens with that case.
· Judge nixes Airbnb subletter's eviction [NYP]
· AirBnB coverage [Curbed]