Rosenberg & Estis Secures First Court Order Preventing Airbnb and Tenant from Illegally Listing Apartment

by | Oct 24, 2023 | Press Releases

Rosenberg & Estis, P.C. has secured the first court order prohibiting Airbnb and a New York City tenant from listing the tenant’s apartment on Airbnb. This is the first injunction against Airbnb and one of its hosts since New York City implemented Local Law 18, which prohibits the short-term rental of unregistered apartments.

Rosenberg & Estis Members Deborah E. Riegel and Cori A. Rosen represented property owner S&P Associates of New York LLC in the matter before Justice Suzanne Adams of the Supreme Court of the State of New York.

The injunction follows on the heels of Rosenberg & Estis securing a TRO in this and a separate case before the same judge, granting similar relief.

In this case, Justice Adams granted an injunction against Airbnb, as well as Jerome and Kristina Dewald, tenants at 30 West 63rd Street, prohibiting Airbnb from hosting the listing of the apartment. The tenants, who also were prevented from subletting their unit under the terms of their lease, are enjoined from providing access to tourists, transient visitors and/or third parties who are not lawful occupants of the premises. Only the Dewalds and immediate family are permitted to occupy the premises.

Local Law 18 allows any property owner to place its entire building on a Prohibited Building list, thereby restricting transient occupancy via Airbnb or other online platforms and requires registration of all individual units not located in a prohibited building. It also precludes the registration of any unit, unless it is contained in a Class “B” building. The State Supreme Court recently dismissed Airbnb’s challenge to the legality of Local Law 18, in which litigation Airbnb conceded its obligation, under Local Law 18 and the resulting regulations, to remove listings until it is able to verify them. Notwithstanding that admission, Airbnb failed to either verify the tenant’s listing or remove it until the action was commenced.

“This decision demonstrates that the court will enforce Local Law 18 as it was intended, so as to protect owners from the commercialization of their properties and residents from a constant stream of transients and tourists, who diminish their quality of life. The court’s definitive ruling is critical to all property owners’ ability to require Airbnb to police its own platform and comply with the law, while also preventing illegal subletting by opportunistic tenants,” said Riegel. “The owner may now pursue damages from both the tenant and Airbnb, establishing a course of action for other property owners whose tenants are using Airbnb illegally in New York City.”