New York City law enforcement officials conducted a raid on the Atelier Manhattan condominium building last month, issuing more than 27 citations to owners of the condos who illegally rented out their property on Airbnb. Two of the individuals sit on the board of the 46-story luxury building.
“The extensive violations written show a clear need for building ownership and management to take action,” Christian Klossner, executive director of the mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement, told the Wall Street Journal.
NYC officials were tipped off by owners of the building who were becoming increasingly annoyed by tourists in their building from Argentina, Switzerland, Spain and other countries. A group of residents banded together and issued a list of roughly 100 condo owners who they believe where breaking the law.
Residents at the Atelier who filed complaints with the board shared that they were retaliated against for complaining, and issued fines themselves.
“It’s war,” explained Tanya Helfand, a lawyer who bought a studio on the 14th floor this year.
Condo board president Daniel Neiditch has come under fire for allowing building residents to list their condos on the Aribnb site. Many have called for Neiditich’s resignation. Neiditich reportedly stated that there isn’t much he can do to stop residents from renting their condos out to Airbnb, adding that his hands are tied.
Head of Northeast Policy for Airbnb speaks out
Josh Meltzer, head of Northeast Policy for Airbnb, called cases like this one “rare and not representative of our host community — the vast majority of whom are sharing the home in which they live — but they do reinforce the need for a comprehensive, statewide bill that would provide for strict recourse against bad actors and protect the rights of regular New Yorkers who are responsibly sharing their homes.”
Adding, “Airbnb supports legislation in Albany that would create a common sense, comprehensive path forward, and we invite the Office of Special Enforcement to do the same.”