City accuses landlord of running illegal Airbnb hotel out of rent-stabilized building

Lawsuit is latest crackdown against home sharing service

156 West 15th Street and Mayor Bill de Blasio (Credit: Getty Images)
156 West 15th Street and Mayor Bill de Blasio (Credit: Getty Images)

The city is continuing its crackdown on Airbnb with a lawsuit against a landlord who allegedly turned his rent-stabilized building into an illegal hotel.

Philip Baldeo and another person are accused of renting out six of the nine units at 156 West 15th Street to tourists over the past three years, the New York Post reported. The city is seeking $1 million in damages and fines of $5,000 a day for each unit rented out.

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“There must be zero tolerance for illegal hotels,” Council Speaker Corey Johnson said in a statement.

In November, the city settled with two landlords similarly accused of running illegal hotels for $1 million. And Solly Assa sold his building at 19 West 55th Street after a $1.2 million settlement with the city over illegal hotel claims.

Upstate Senator John Bonacic introduced a bill earlier this month seeking to legalize and regulate Airbnb and similar sites. [NYP]Kathryn Brenzel

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