The Real Deal New York

The city’s cracking down on illegal hotels with three more lawsuits

The operators were in multiple boroughs
September 13, 2018 09:30AM

153 Stanton Street and 159 Bleecker Street overlaid with a gavel (Credit: Google Maps, CityRealty, and Wikipedia)

The city is keeping the pressure on illegal hotel operators.

New York City announced three new lawsuits against operators in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens, Curbed reported. It’s the first case against operators in multiple boroughs.

The operators allegedly used host accounts with false identities to advertise at least 15 apartments.

Alexandra Pavlenok, Ekaterina Plotnikova, and Stepan Solovyev are accused of misleading guests and using deceptive explanations regarding the legality of the listings, the report said. They raked in nearly $1 million from 5,000 visitors. The buildings mentioned in the lawsuit are 12 John Street, 40 Water Street, 151 Stanton Street, 153 Stanton Street, 159 Bleecker Street, 238 Gates Avenue, 17-12 Menahan Street.

“Illegal hotel operators like the ones in this suit exacerbate the city’s housing affordability crisis,” Council speaker Corey Johnson said in a statement. “Shady profiteers like these that use our badly needed housing stock to turn a quick buck are shameful, and this is a perfect example of why we need to maintain enforcement efforts against this harmful behavior.”

Earlier this year, the City Council passed a bill aimed at curbing short-term rentals. It voted to force companies like Airbnb to disclose information on every one of its New York City listings or face $25,000 fines for each. [Curbed] — Meenal Vamburkar