Sharing, not caring: Landlord discovers Airbnb the hard way

Tenants hired crew to turn three-bedroom rental into 10-room illegal hotel

New York /
Dec.December 11, 2015 12:23 PM

A Queens landlord recently learned first-hand how Airbnb is altering the city’s housing landscape, after renting out the third floor of a three-story Elmhurst home he owns as a rental property.

After signing a lease with two tenants for $2,500 a month, Eddie Shiew got a call from another one of his tenants on the first floor – notifying him that it appeared there was construction work going on upstairs.

“I went in the next day and found they had turned a three-bedroom into a 10—bedroom apartment,” Shiew told PIX11.

The tenants, Burak Firik and Dogan Kimilli, were renovating the home without Shiew’s knowledge, with a construction crew using sheetrock to divide each bedroom on the third floor into three smaller bedrooms.

The landlord then discovered that the tenants were listing the rooms on Airbnb – with tourists paying $35 a night for one of the small rooms on the renovated third floor.

Shiew put an end to all that, of course – bringing in workmen to tear down the renovations before kicking out Firik and Kimilli and changing the locks on the doors.

But it didn’t end there, with the tenants taking the landlord to court – and winning a judgment saying Shiew illegally locked them out. He was ordered to let the two men back onto the property.

While they have yet to do more renovations, Firik and Kimilli continue to create space to rent on Airbnb using curtains as room dividers, PIX11 reports. Shiew, meanwhile, has hired an attorney in an attempt to evict them for violating the terms of their lease. [PIX11]Rey Mashayekhi


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
From left: Mayor Bill de Blasio, 54 West 39th Street, 62 Grand Street, and 208 West 30th Street (Credit: Google Maps)
The Airbnb crackdown continues: City targets three more buildings
The Airbnb crackdown continues: City targets three more buildings
Mayor Bill de Blasio and Stanley “Skip” Karol, an Airbnb host (Credit: Getty Images and Youtube)
Airbnb host narrowly clears hurdle in First Amendment claim against city
Airbnb host narrowly clears hurdle in First Amendment claim against city
A West Village Airbnb listing (Credit: Airbnb)
Airbnb Luxe launched without listings in one of their biggest potential markets — why?
Airbnb Luxe launched without listings in one of their biggest potential markets — why?
Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky (Getty)
Airbnb’s losses balloon to $4.6B in 2020
Airbnb’s losses balloon to $4.6B in 2020
Central Queens Academy's Ashish Kapadia and United's Chris Jiashu Xu with a rendering of 88-08 Justice Avenue (Linkedin, iStock)
Charter school takes 85K sf in Queens condo building
Charter school takes 85K sf in Queens condo building
Barcelona Mayor Ada Colau (Getty, iStock)
Barcelona may tighten rules on short-term rentals…again
Barcelona may tighten rules on short-term rentals…again
(Photo illustration by The Real Deal)
Hospitality startups pick at carnage of failed rivals
Hospitality startups pick at carnage of failed rivals
Airbnb Brain Chesky and President-elect Joe Biden (Getty)
Airbnb cancels all DC-area bookings for inauguration week
Airbnb cancels all DC-area bookings for inauguration week
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...