The Real Deal New York

City investigating couple’s Airbnb nightmare

A California couple says Airbnb refuses to refund them after being booted from their rental
December 04, 2016 05:00PM

Andrew Cuomo and Airbnb founders Joe Gebbia, Nathan Blecharczyk and Brian Chesky

Andrew Cuomo and Airbnb founders Joe Gebbia, Nathan Blecharczyk and Brian Chesky

A California couple’s NYC vacation turned sour following an Airbnb nightmare. And now, the city is investigating.

Talent agent Annette van Duren and her producer husband Alan Sacks were kicked out of their short-term rental at 451 West 22nd Street in Chelsea after just one night, according to the New York Post.

The couple paid $2,081 for 10 days at the apartment. But when they arrived at the five bedroom, a resident told them that what they were doing was illegal and demanded that they leave.

They were forced to go find a Midtown hotel and forgo their plans. Now, they say Airbnb will not fully reimburse them for their trouble.

An official with the Mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement, a task force that probes quality-of-life issues, has reached out to the couple, according to the Post.

“They wanted to know what the Airbnb listing and host IDs were,” said van Duren. “They also asked us to share copies of the reservation confirmation and other emails.”

Mayoral spokeswoman Melissa Grace added that “the City takes allegations of risky and illegal home-sharing seriously. We are very concerned about the impact on visitors and New Yorkers alike and encourage the public to call 311 when faced with potentially illegal short-term subletting.”

In October, Governor Cuomo signed a law that imposes fines of up to $7,500 for hosts posting short-term rentals. [NYP] Christopher Cameron