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

Exhuming ‘Be My Baby’ and a Strange 1965 Visit to Parisi Bakery on Mott Street [VIDEO]

Thump-thumpthump-thwack. The night we met I knew I needed you so… It’s one of the most iconic song openers in pop history, and it’s inextricably linked to Little Italy. Both in song and film. Director and native son, Martin Scorsese, famously synchronized “Be My Baby” by the Ronettes to the opening credits of Mean Streets. […]

Traffic Changes as Essex Crossing Site 3 Readies 15-Story Tower

Major progress is underway at Site 3 of Essex Crossing, where a fifteen-story development is in the cards. And with it, a host of traffic changes to an already congested Williamsburg Bridge approach. Back in late March, the cluster of trailers that previously served as onsite offices for Delancey Street Associates (the developer consortium behind […]

Chinatown Plagued by Spate of Burglaries

Lock your doors. Hide your kids. Hide your wife. The 5th Precinct is warning residents about a spate of home burglaries in Chinatown over the past week. Police say that the suspect, described as an Hispanic male with medium build in his thirties, has struck at least six buildings so far. Four locations were reportedly […]

IZZIE’S Fires up Philly-Style Cheesesteaks for Clinton Street

Philly-style cheesesteaks are now part of the Clinton Street restaurant stock. Fast food joint, IZZIE’S (the “Queen of Steaks”), opened last weekend on the block between Rivington and Stanton Streets. Aside from its signature cheesesteak dish, the newcomer offers a menu with Philly Empanadas, Hoagies (aka heroes in New York City), and even a plant-based veggie […]

When it Comes to Lack of Noise Violations Against Bars, It’s All About that Bass

When it comes to a purported lack of noise violation enforcement, as Meghan Trainor would say, it’s all about that bass, no treble. That’s reportedly the reason city inspectors aren’t issuing as many noise violations based on neighbor complaints, according to an investigative report by NBC New York. Anyone who’s lived above, adjacent to, or […]