Surprise! Judge decides against eviction of Airbnb subletter

Multiple Dwelling Law applies only to landlords, court says in ruling on FiDi apartment

33 Gold Street and Airbnb logo
33 Gold Street and Airbnb logo

A Manhattan Housing Court judge ruled Monday that a woman subletting her two-bedroom Financial District rental apartment through Airbnb will not be evicted.

The Multiple Dwelling Law, which prohibits short-term sublets, applies to landlords, not sublessees, according to Justice Jack Stoller. Renters must comply, however, after a landlord tells them to stop subletting.  

The tenant, Kimberly Freeman, lives at an eight-story, 195-unit complex at 33 Gold Street. She said she earned about $200 per night from subletting, while paying $2,350 in monthly rent. Gold Street Properties, which owns the property, claimed in a lawsuit that Freeman should be evicted.

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Last month, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman reached an agreement with Airbnb over the state’s investigation into the listings at the controversial short-term apartment rental site, as The Real Deal reported. Schneiderman had issued a subpoena demanding the records of more than 15,000 host users to help determine whether the site was in compliance with a law that bans the use of apartments for transient hotel guests. [NYP]Mark Maurer