Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer is working on legislation that would penalize New Yorkers who exploit their subsidized apartments for profit on Airbnb, his office announced Thursday.
The announcement follows an LIC Post report on multiple residents at the affordable Hunters Point South development who were renting out their tax-subsidized homes for as much as $500 per night.
Van Bramer’s legislation would establish penalties for renters who “are found guilty of taking advantage of rent stabilized and/or rent controlled units for profit as illegal hotels on sites like Airbnb,” his office said.
The Councilman also wants the City to respond to Airbnb abuse at Hunters Point South and other instances in rent regulated/controlled buildings.
He has requested an investigation into illegal hotels in rent regulated and rent stabilized buildings from the Mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement, as well as hearings at the City Council’s Committee on Housing and Buildings specifically focused on the proliferation of Airbnb in these buildings.
State law already prohibits tenants in apartment buildings with three or more units from renting out to transient visitors for less than 30 days. City law sets fines of $1,600 and up for illegal hotels in residential apartments; Councilwoman Helen Rosenthal has introduced legislation to increase these penalties.