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NYC Judge Rules Airbnb Stay Is Illegal

Submitted by on May 22, 2013 – 5:19 pmNo Comment

Those who like to make a little extra cash by renting out their rooms may be in trouble. A New York City judge has ordered a man to pay a fine for renting out his room for three nights on Airbnb, saying the many violated a 2011 law aimed at illegal hotels.

Judge Clive Morrick tossed out some zoning violations against Nigel Warren and reduced the fine from $7,000 to $2,400, but did find him guilty of violating the hotel law:

“While breech of the condominium rules is not of itself a ground for sustaining this (notice), respondent was in breach (through Warren’s acts) and the existence of the rule against rental for transient, hotel, or motel purposes is evidence that the unit owners were to restrict their use to permanent occupation.”

Airbnb is a popular website that allows residents to rent out their rooms for short stays. Some residential developers and landlords have taken advantage of the technology to try to turn their apartments into de facto hotels.

The website got involved with Warren’s case, and fired back at the judges decision, saying it “runs contrary to the stated intention and the plain text of New York law.”

Both sides seem to agree that the law needs to be clarified. But Airbnb might be disappointed to find that such revisions will not protect all of their legitimate users, as some seem to have crossed the line from earning a little extra cash to running a full-time business. Making money is at the center of Airbnb’s pitch, and some have argued that using the site is a great way to make a living.

Do you use Airbnb? What do you think?

[via CNET]


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