Larry Gluck sues Chelsea tenants for Airbnb use

Defendants made market-rate unit available for $375 a night: lawsuit
August 24, 2015 01:30PM

Larry Gluck’s Stellar Management is taking legal action against the market-rate tenants of a Chelsea building for allegedly renting out their apartment through Airbnb.

A recent lawsuit claims that since signing a lease in March at Stellar’s 214 West 21st Street, between Seventh and Eighth avenues, tenants Vitaliy Pereverzev and Marcela Torres have made their apartment “available on a continuous basis to tourists and other transient visitors.”

The defendants have used Airbnb to advertise the two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment for stays of at least four nights at a nightly rate of $375, according to the lawsuit. The stays are illegal under a 2010 state law banning multifamily building tenants from subletting their space for less than 30 days, the New York Observer reports.

While the tenants pay $3,500 per month for the apartment, the unit’s $375 per night ask could have netted them over $11,000 a month if they rented it out every night for a month. Stellar monitors short-term rental websites like Airbnb to see if tenants are illegally advertising their apartments, according to the lawsuit.

The city has recently aimed to crackdown on illegal Airbnb rentals, with a City Council bill introduced in June proposing to hike fines for first-time offenders to $10,000. The popular home-rental website was recently valued at almost $26 billion. [NYO]Rey Mashayekhi