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Think your Airbnb setup is perfectly legal? Maybe not, and here's why

By Virginia K. Smith  | October 6, 2014 - 11:59AM

Even if your short-term Airbnb sublet is in the clear of New York state law—meaning that you're staying in the apartment alongside your guest, who'll be there for under 30 days—there's still one person who can make or break your rental side hustle: the landlord.

One Upper West Side Airbnb host is learning this lesson the hard way, facing an eviction lawsuit from her landlord for allegedly using the site, which management claims violates the terms of her lease. Noelle Penraat, 62, been renting out three of the four bedrooms in her $4,447 a month apartment in the upscale Central Park West pre-war the Brookford, while living in the apartment, according to the suit reported by the New York Post. She reportedly took in $8,883 a month from her rentals, charging between $75 and $100 per night, depending on the size of the room. Penraat apparently received glowing reviews on the site for extra touches like maps to the city and fresh linens.

Still, being a model host doesn't change the terms of your lease, and while the results of this case are still up in the air (per Gothamist, Airbnb hasn't issued a comment yet) there's a concrete lesson to be learned here: no matter how meticulous your hosting game, if your lease explicitly forbids short term rentals, you—and your guests—could find yourself getting the boot from the building altogether.


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