New York City is continuing its crackdown on illegal short-term rentals with its latest target being a luxury condo tower in Midtown. In October, the city issued 27 violations for illegal hotel use in the 46-story tower known as the Atelier, according to the New York Post, which first reported on this raid.
The violations were issued to 20 different apartment owners in the building, and two of these owners are members of the building’s condo board. Some residents told the Wall Street Journal that they are looking to oust the board for allegedly allowing these apartment owners to operate illegal rentals.
Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office informed the Journal that this was the biggest raid conducted by the city against individual apartment owners, and involved the most number of officers for a single raid.
Josh Meltzer, the head of Northeast policy for Airbnb had this to say about the matter:
Cases like this one are rare and not representative of our host community—the vast majority of whom are sharing the home in which they live—but they do reinforce the need for a comprehensive, statewide bill that would provide for strict recourse against bad actors and protect the rights of regular New Yorkers who are responsibly sharing their homes. Airbnb supports legislation in Albany that would create a common sense, comprehensive path forward, and we invite the Office of Special Enforcement to do the same.
The actions at the Atelier are the latest in a series of crackdowns the city has conducted this year. In January, the city filed a lawsuit against Chelsea building owner who was operating illegal Airbnb listings from his four-story walk-up; in April, a Manhattan couple was hit with a $1 million fine for illegal Airbnb listings; in June, the city sued a Hell’s Kitchen landlord for operating several rent-stabilized apartment buildings; and in September the city went after three illegal hotel operators in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens.
The enforcement is only going to increase in the coming months: in July, the City Council passed a bill that looks to prevent tenants and landlords from operating illegal rentals. On a monthly basis, companies like Airbnb will have to provide the city information on their hosts, listings, and if they are renting out rooms or entire apartments.