February 5, 2017
A Manhattan landlord and a former Corcoran realtor are the first casualties of a newly enforceable law meant to curb illegal Airbnb listings, The Post has learned.
Property owner Hank Freid — who was once crowned one of NYC’s “Worst Landlords” by a watchdog group in 2005 — and real estate broker Tatiana Cames were slapped with 17 violations, at $1,000 apiece, for their allegedly illegal listings on Manhattan’s Upper West Side and in Bedford-Stuyvesant, in Brooklyn, according to documents obtained by the Post.
Freid, who manages the Marrakech Hotel, was hit with 12 violations for listing SROs in the building on several booking platforms, including Booking.com, Expedia, Kayak, Hotwire, Travelocity, and Orbitz, the citations reveal.
Meanwhile, Cames — who was served with five violations — allegedly posted five separate listings to Airbnb advertising 320 Macon St, which records show she purchased for $2.15M in 2015.
The Macon St. property was discovered to have inadequate fire alarms, sprinklers, illegal subdivisions, and a confused bunch of French tourists in a rear unit, according the procured documents.
Cames appears to be making money off the vacancies in the building as she attempts to fill the space, as the same units are advertised as “for rent” on her personal website.
The listings also seem to suggest that drawing illegal Airbnb-ers into BedStuy will help “diversify” the locale.
“Bedford-Stuyvesant is a wonderful close-knit community. Historically African-American and West Indian, the neighborhood is abound with great shops and restaurants celebrating this heritage,” her posting reads. “The architectural landscape of Bed Stuy has attracted newcomers who have made the neighborhood home and has added diversity to the culture of the neighborhood and its offerings.”
Cames, a licensed broker and contractor, also manages an Airbnb listing at 103 St. James Place in Clinton Hill, which has housed at least 179 guests, based on the number of reviews.
While the Legislature passed a law barring short-term rentals in October, the new policy wasn’t enforceable until last week.
“Last week marked the start of enforcement efforts against bad actors under the new State law that bars advertising of illegal short-term rentals, said City Hall spokeswoman Melissa Grace. “We will continue to use this law, and other enforcement tools, to protect New Yorkers and visitors alike.”
If Freid and Cames don’t pull their listings, they could be hit with a second set of violations, at $5,000 a pop.
A lawyer for Freid, Ronald J. Rosenberg, called the summons a “misapplication of the law” and said his client will “fight the violations in court, as he has successfully done in the past.” Cames did not return a message.