According to a recent article by the New York Post, an analysis by state authorities has found that, nearly two-thirds of New York City's apartments recently listed on Airbnb were being offered in violation of the law.
The study of data from the subletting service’s own Web site showed 64 percent of its 19,500-plus offerings for Jan. 31 covered an “entire apartment,” says an affidavit from the state Attorney General’s Office.
By law, a “permanent resident” must be present to sublet an apartment for fewer than 30 days.
In addition, more than 200 of the offerings came from just five “hosts,” suggesting third parties were renting out pads on behalf of their owners.
Court filings by the AG’s Office say Airbnb is fueling an underground industry of “illegal hotels” that has led to a surge in complaints about parties that leave “vomit and baggage strewn in hallways” and other problems.
The Post revealed last week that hookers were setting up temporary brothels over Airbnb.
Tom Cayler, chairman of the West Side Neighborhood Alliance’s Illegal Hotel Committee, railed at the online service.
“Airbnb has just become a scourge,” said Cayler, 63, of Hell’s Kitchen. “You’ve already got the sex industry using Airbnb. How long will it be before the gamblers and the drug dealers figure it out?”
Tenants advocate Bennett Baumer said a row of buildings on West 49th Street has been used as illegal hotels through Airbnb. At least three apartments there were cited by the city last year based on complaints.
A rep for the buildings’ owner did not respond to a request for comment Sunday.
Airbnb on Sunday said it boots users who abuse its service.
“The small group of bad actors that abused our platform aren’t part of the Airbnb community anymore, or they are on their way out the door, ” it said, adding most users “are regular New Yorkers just trying to make ends meet.”