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Lower East Side landlord hit with $1.2M lawsuit over illegal Airbnb listings

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It’s the largest crackdown yet undertaken by NYC

Via Joel Raskin/Flickr

Following through on its promise to crackdown on illegal Airbnb listings, the city has sued a Lower East Side building owner for $1.2 million for allegedly renting out several apartments in three buildings, the New York Post reports.

The city alleges that Rose King worked with a middle man and assumed various aliases to rent out apartments at 536 East 14th Street, 123 Ludlow Street, and 127 Rivington Street, on Airbnb. The city claims that some of the residents they interviewed in these buildings said that King had been trying to kick out rent-stabilized tenants to create more Airbnb rentals in her buildings.

The city alleges that she collaborated with a man named Bryan Chan on the scheme, and this lawsuit, filed in the Manhattan Supreme Court, is the biggest crackdown on illegal Airbnb listings in the city yet.

This latest development is in sharp contrast to news that emerged last week about the city struggling to enforce the anti-Airbnb law. The city has however set aside millions of dollars in its most recent budget to fight such illegal listings. In February, a Manhattan landlord was fined $27,000 in total for illegally advertising Airbnb rentals, and crackdowns similar to this latest lawsuit might follow in the coming months.