Lawsuit alleges Airbnb opened the door to crime in Hell’s Kitchen building

A host is accused of renting out his home to drug dealers, prostitutes and pornographers
February 04, 2017 01:30PM

643-647 Ninth Avenue (Credit: PropertyShark)

401 West 45th Street (Credit: PropertyShark)

List it and they will come. The host of a Hell’s Kitchen Airbnb was slammed with a lawsuit for allegedly renting out his home to drug dealers, prostitutes and pornographers. Needless to say, the neighbors weren’t thrilled.

The owner of 401 West 45th Street, whose identity is protected by an LLC, filed suit in Manhattan Supreme Court to block tenant Thomas Tartaglia from subletting his $3,850-a-month studio through Airbnb, according to the New York Post.

In 2013, the landlord paid $880 per square foot for the modest five-story walk-up and an adjacent luxury rental in what insiders said was of the highest prices ever paid in the neighborhood. But maybe it wasn’t such a hot deal after all.

Last fall, Tartaglia’s “unauthorized guests” broke into a vacant apartment and threatened a real estate agent who was in the middle of a showing, according to court papers. The landlord also claims Tartaglia let his guests use his apartment and the rooftop to “conduct a commercial photo shoot and/or film which upon information and belief was pornographic in nature.”

In November, a small fire broke out in the hallway, and the super saw “third parties in the hallway using narcotics and, upon information and belief, engaging in prostitution,” the suit says.

The landlord is seeking $300,000 in damages. [NYP]Christopher Cameron