Did my apartment turn into a hotel room? What can I do about it?
September 1, 2011 10:06 AM   Subscribe

What is the legality/propriety of leasing apartments in NYC for the purpose of renting them out on vacation rental websites?

I recently moved from a New York City apartment that my family adored due to an outrageous rent increase.

In speaking with one of the doormen in the building (on moving day), I learned that individuals (or companies) had been leasing apartments in the building and renting them out on vacation websites. It seemed like the building management company was aware of this, and the doorman was a little cagey about the whole thing.

Adding to my suspicions, I also learned that my particular apartment was rented out almost immediately after it hit the market (at a rate almost 20% higher than what I paid), and no one even bothered to visit it.

On a personal level, I find it very annoying that rents in my building could have been distorted by a new, underground business that seeks to profit by marketing "residential" apartments as de facto hotel rooms.

Is there anything I can do about this? I'd love to call a city agency (anonymously would be ideal) and have this situation investigated.

(Obviously this was not a rent-regulated apartment.)
posted by anonymous to Law & Government (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I don't know of particular laws, but many co-ops' and condos' bypass explicitly prohibit this. Higher end rental places, like those violence owned by Related, also prohibit this.
posted by dfriedman at 10:15 AM on September 1, 2011

Should read bylaws, not bypass. Stupid autocorrect.
posted by dfriedman at 10:21 AM on September 1, 2011

Most leases explicitly prohibit sub-leasing without the explicit consent of the landlord. But unless the apartment is subject to rent control, this probably isn't illegal as such.

Really hard to give more specific advice--which I wouldn't anyway, as IANYL--without seeing the lease, but that's where you'd find your answer.
posted by valkyryn at 10:36 AM on September 1, 2011

Also, if you want to contact a city agency, start by calling 311. I have no idea what recourse, if any, you have, nor do I understand what resolution you want here.
posted by dfriedman at 10:40 AM on September 1, 2011

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