Midtown renter hit with $300K lawsuit for using Airbnb

The tenant was caught illegally and repeatedly renting out her apartment by the city
December 19, 2015 12:00PM

The landlord of the Midtown building at 357 West 54th Street is suing a tenant for $300,000 for renting out her apartment on Airbnb.

Tenant Madalina Iacob is accused of costing the building over $60,000 in fines after repeatedly renting out her apartment for $200 a night on short term rentals sites including Airbnb, according to the New York Daily News.

“Under the law, the landlord is strictly liable even though it’s the tenant causing the violation — and even though we’re not participating in this with this lady,” the building’s lawyer, Lawrence Silberman, told the Daily News.

Iacob, a yoga instructor and life coach, pays $2,095-a-month for her one-bedroom apartment, but was caught illegally renting out her apartment for profit by the city in May, earning the building four violations, according to court papers.

A city administrative law judge slammed the landlord responsible with $1,000-a-day fines, totaling $45,000, for “transient use” and an additional $16,000 in base fines.

The city caught Iacob continuing to rent out her apartment on several other occasions and the landlord is concerned that fines will grow to $250,000.

The address used by the landlord’s LLC is also the public address of Misrahi Realty and Brownstone Management, according to loan documents in public records uncovered by The Real Deal[NYDN]Christopher Cameron