The Real Deal New York

Penn South co-op board evicts Airbnb, Roomorama devotee

Private investigator found tenant had rented out terrace for $65/night
December 03, 2013 01:38PM

A resident of Penn South, a 2,820-unit affordable housing co-op at 321 Eighth Avenue in Chelsea, is facing eviction after renting out his terrace to someone later revealed to be a private investigator sent by the co-op board.

Retired typographer David Shea — who found the renter through rental booking website Roomorama and often uses Airbnb — is one of five residents at the co-op subject to eviction proceedings. In 2011 and last year, the 78-year-old hosted roughly 50 people on his 19th-floor terrace and earned about $6,000 over that time. Some travelers hailed from Oklahoma or New Zealand, each paying $65 a night for lodging.

“I told them at the hearing, you didn’t have to hire a private investigator: If you had asked me, I would have admitted it,” Shea told the New York Times.

Shea has opted to appeal the eviction in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan.

“David is a great host, and has extensive knowledge of the area,” an Australian reviewer on Airbnb’s website wrote, as cited by the New York Times. “Just don’t be a prissy cleanfreak and you’ll be fine.”

In September, Airbnb won a big victory in court after a case against an East Village resident, who was originally given a $40,000 fine for renting out his apartment using the site, was overturned, as previously reported. [NYT]Mark Maurer