The Real Deal New York

Summertime and the living is cozy: Airbnb host allegedly packed 34 guests into Bushwick pad

Landlord received an $11K fine
September 01, 2017 10:30AM

19 Fayette Street in Brooklyn

And you thought your apartment was cramped.

As part of its Airbnb crackdown, the city is fining Bushwick landlord George Lebovits $11,000 after an Airbnb user allegedly packed 34 guests into nine rooms in his building at 19 Fayette Street, according to the New York Post.

The Airbnb host, listed as Erika, has been charging guests between $85 and $115 per night to stay in the apartment, advertising that between three and five people can fit into rooms filled with bunk beds and mattresses.

Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Office of Special Enforcement visited the building on Monday and found 34 guests in nine rooms, issuing six violations for problems including overcrowding. The Department of Buildings has placed a full vacate order on the building as well. The fines could eventually be as high as $54,200, and a hearing on them is set for October.

Leobvits said to the Post that he was renting his building out to one of his son’s friends and had “no idea she was doing something that’s illegal.” He plans to demolish the building.

In August, the city hit a Manhattan bed-and-breakfast with an $8,000 Airbnb-related fine, despite the owner saying she had never booked a guest through Airbnb. The company, valued at approximately $31 billion, spent more than $400,000 on lobbying in New York during the first half of the year, and users of the site now have the chance to stay at President Trump’s childhood home in Queens. [NYP]Eddie Small