LES Landlord Hit with $1.2M Lawsuit over Hell Square Airbnb Scheme
It’s being called the biggest crackdown on a landlord illegally using Airbnb, and it happened on the Lower East Side. Naturally.
City prosecutors filed a $1.2 million lawsuit against building owner Rose King in Manhattan Supreme Court for running a small network of transient hotels in three of her properties. Rooms were described as “comfy and cozy,” and apparently fetched $85 per night at 536 E. 14th Street, 123 Ludlow Street, and 127 Rivington Street.
The New York Post had the story on Sunday, and spoke to a few guests on Ludlow Street who had rented the rooms through Wednesday this week.
At 123 Ludlow Sunday, two tourists from California told The Post they had reservations for a one-bedroom there through Wednesday. They lamented they had been waiting outside for two hours with their luggage to meet up with the person renting the pad.
King has been hiding behind a middle man and at least nine aliases to create a network of transient hotels at 536 E. 14th St., 123 Ludlow St., and 127 Rivington St., according to the Manhattan Supreme Court suit.
And one of the building’s permanent residents told city officials that King is trying to evict rent-stabilized tenants from her properties to convert even more units into cash-cow Airbnbs, sources said.
[Cohort Bryan] Chan “is openly and deceptively using at least nine different identities and 33 distinct Airbnb accounts” to advertise 12 units in the three buildings, according to court papers.
“It’s outrageous, it’s illegal, and we will stop bad actors from hurting our neighborhoods,” Mayor Bill de Blasio told the Post. “New Yorkers can’t afford to see affordable homes turned into hotels.”
A state law signed in October makes it illegal to rent out an entire unit for less than 30 days without a hotel permit.