LES Landlord Hit with $1.2M Lawsuit over Hell Square Airbnb Scheme

Posted on: May 16th, 2017 at 5:08 am by

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.

Recent Stories

Under Legal Threat, MoMaCha Tea Shop on the Bowery Becomes ‘MaMaCha’

Within the last couple weeks, and under fire, the MoMaCha tea room on the Bowery changed its full branding and identity. Henceforth, the business is now morphed to the homophone, MaMaCha. Though, not voluntarily. The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) filed a lawsuit almost immediately after the art-focused cafe opened back in April. Then, last […]

DOB Approves ABC No Rio Passive House on Rivington Street

ABC No Rio – in its former punk rock incarnation at 156 Rivington Street – was demolished back in April 2017. Its long-overdue rebirth as sleek “passive house” is one major step closer to reality. Since takedown of the century-old tenement two years ago, the lot has been dormant while action transpired behind the scenes. […]

Punk Couple ‘Dennis and Lois’ Dish on their 40-Year Love Affair with Music [INTERVIEW]

New York couple Dennis and Lois consume concerts at the same frenetic pace as many of the acts they see perform their sets (sometimes they see four shows a week, sometimes it’s brief overnight stint in Manchester). They are the ultimate punk fans, a lifetime music-driven couple. And the best kind of cool – matter […]

Yesterday’s Snowfall Toppled Trees Around the Lower East Side [PHOTOS]

Yesterday’s late-fall snowstorm (aka “Snowvember”) had trees falling around the Lower East Side. Over on Norfolk Street, the weight of the wet snow-pack toppled several large limbs at around 5pm, smashing into parked cars and blocking southbound traffic below Stanton Street. (Video below.) Firefighters quickly responded with the chainsaws to clear the debris. One person […]

Make No Mistake, CM Margaret Chin Wants Towers in Two Bridges [OP-ED]

The following editorial was written by community leader David Tieu, a member of the Lower East Side Organized Neighbors coalition, which is staunchly opposed to the incoming waterfront development. With just a rubber stamp of City Planning approval, four mega-towers on the flood plain of the Lower East Side waterfront – each between 60 and […]