City files first suit against operators of alleged illegal hotels

Kermanshah brothers accused of violating fire and housing codes

From left: 5 West 31st Street and 59 Fifth Avenue
From left: 5 West 31st Street and 59 Fifth Avenue

Mayor Bill de Blasio filed the administration’s first lawsuit against apartments operating as illegal hotels.

Investigators charge that brothers Hamid Kermanshah and Abdolmajid Kermanshah — the owners of two residential buildings, one at 59 Fifth Avenue and one at 5 West 31st Street — allegedly violated fire regulations and building codes. City officials claim the pair rented out the units on apartment sharing websites such as Airbnb, according to the New York Daily News .

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Earlier this week, the attorney general released a report that found that almost three quarters of Airbnb listings in the city are illegal.

Before the filing of the suit, the de Blasio administration had not yet taken a strong stance on the issue. [NYDN] — Claire Moses