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Crackdown on Airbnb continues

Brian Chesky (Credit: Michael Lewis / Fortune Magazine)

The city filed a lawsuit against Slavik Gofman alleging he illegally advertised for short-term rental units (i.e. Airbnb) at the following three properties: 54 West 39th Street, 208 West 30th Street, and 62 Grand Street, according to TRD.

  • Don’t try loopholes: Gofman formed at least 21 illegal listings at the buildings through Airbnb and tried to sidestep the city’s laws by saying they were using former office space rather than apartments to offer visitors to the city a place to stay. The company made more than 2,800 illegal short-term rental reservations to almost 9,400 guests between 2016 and 2019 and earned about $1.7 million in revenue from the listings. 
  • The consequences: The city has already fined Gofman more than $46,000 in civil penalties. The suit seeks an additional fine of $1,000 per day they violated the rules, and $500,000 in punitive damages.
  • Heard in City Hall: “The message is clear: illegal hotel operators who flout the law will see consequences–and their day in court.”
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