An unemployed Upper West Side woman using Airbnb to rent out rooms in her huge Central Park West apartment has been ordered to stop doing it by a Manhattan judge.
Supreme Court Justice Carol Edmead said in a decision that Noelle Penraat, 62, appears to have made a substantial income over the past two years through Airbnb and that’s a violation of both rent control and zoning laws.
Penraat, a photographer who has been mostly unemployed since 2006, said in a court affidavit that she was forced to use Airbnb to pay her $4,477 monthly rent and other mounting bills.
The owners of her building at 315 Central Park West estimated that she could have made as much as $8,883 a month if she had rented out all four bedrooms in her rent controlled unit, which has views of Central Park. She charged $75-$150 a night or $450-$1,000 a week, depending on the size of the bedroom.
Penraat had the right to stay in the apartment because she grew up there and always lived there; it was first rented by her father, architect Jaap Penraat, a wartime hero who saved 406 Dutch Jews from the Nazis by smuggling them from the Netherlands to France where the Resistance got them out through Spain. He died in 2006.
Jeffrey Turkel, the lawyer for Brookford LLC which owns the building, said Edmead in her decision clarified changes made in 2010 to the rent laws when the legislature barred landlords from turning residential buildings into hotels because health and fire standards are much more strict in the hotel industry.
Eventually, he said, his client will seek to evict Penraat from the unit, which on the open market can earn three or four times what she is paying.