A Manhattan Housing Court judge has ruled that rent-stabilized tenants cannot, under their lease agreement, turn a profit by peddling their apartments on short-term stay sites like Airbnb. The ruling, reported by the Post, comes after the hearing of Henry Ikezi, a tenant in Related Companies' MiMa development on West 42nd Street, who was renting out his subsidized 46th-floor two-bedroom penthouse on Airbnb for $649 a night. Because the apartment was rent stabilized, Ikezi only paid about two-thirds of its market-rate rent, or $6,670 per month. Building residents claimed that, against state and city laws, Ikezi only used the apartment as a hotel, and that he and his family live full-time in Jamaica. In a small defeat for the un-stabilized bitter city-wide, Ikezi has been ordered to vacate the apartment by the end of the month; but his Airbnb listing is still live. The ruling is the first of its kind to evict a tenant under rental controls outright.
The Post notes that although the ruling isn't considered case law, it can be used in future rulings to hinder would-be Airbnb users. The decision reflects both the city's and developer Related Comapnies' push to crack down on the improper use of short-term rentals. State Senator Liz Kruger, though, is still pointing a finger at Airbnb as the main culprit for not enacting more stringent rules.
· Rent-stabilized tenant evicted after cashing in on Airbnb [NYP]
· All Airbnb coverage [Curbed]