Ads for short-term leases, generally with fees, are constantly on display on Craigslist and other rental sites. They seem harmless, but most people don’t realize they’re illegal.
Changes were made to the law back in May to keep visitors safe by offering specific requirements for buildings that can be used as hotels. The net effect is that anyone in a multiple-dwelling building is prohibited from renting out a home for less than 30 days.
Rogers says many New Yorkers who rent out their homes have no idea they are breaking the law and those who do assume they won’t get caught. That’s not true.
Real Estate attorney Steven Wagner says most landlords and boards already had rules prohibiting short-term leases because they create health and safety concerns for other residents, but the law makes it illegal with stiff penalties.
“The fines can range from 1,600 to 5,000 on a first offense, and they go up exponentially after that. But there are a whole other set of issues with the landlord and you can lose your apartment,” says Wagner.
In extreme cases, repeat offenses could land people in jail.