Thursday, April 2, 2015

AirBnB - Don't rent out a room short-term if you are rent stabilized - and others, check your lease!

Stellar Management is going after tenants (mainly rent stabilized, but others may be vulnerable) who rent out rooms or their apartments for short-term stays like AirBnB.

All tenants in New York CIty are allowed to have roommates - who live with them for more than 30 days. (See rules from NYC's Rent Guidelines Board website below).  

In general, NY City residents are allowed to rent out a room for a few nights as long as the tenant remains in the apartment.  BUT TENANTS WHO ARE RENT STABILIZED (or who have other subsidies) CAN FIND THEMSELVES FACING EVICTION if they do this. 

NYC Rent Guidelines Board website:

The following applies to tenants in all types of apartments in New York City:
Apartment Sharing
Landlords may limit the total number of people living in an apartment to comply with legal overcrowding standards. (Real Property Law §§ 235-f) However, it is unlawful for a landlord to restrict occupancy of an apartment to the named tenant in the lease or to that tenant and immediate family. When the lease names only one tenant, that tenant may share the apartment with immediate family, one additional occupant and the occupant's dependent children, provided that the tenant or the tenant's spouse occupies the premises as his/her primary residence.

When the lease names more than one tenant, these tenants may share their apartment with immediate family, and if one of the tenants named in the lease moves out, that tenant may be replaced with another occupant and the dependent children of the occupant. At least one of the tenants named in the lease or that tenant's spouse must occupy the shared apartment as his/her or her primary residence.

Tenants must inform their landlords of the name of any occupant within 30 days after the occupant has moved into the apartment or within 30 days of landlord's request for this information. If the tenant named in the lease moves out, the remaining occupant has no right to continue in occupancy without the landlord's express consent.
The following applies to tenants living in rent stabilized apartments in New York City:
Limits on Charging Roommates
The amount a roommate may be charged by the prime tenant cannot exceed their "proportionate share". Proportionate share is defined "by dividing the legal regulated rent by the total number of tenants named on the lease and the total number of occupants residing in the subject housing accommodation. However, the total number of tenants named in the lease shall not include a tenant’s spouse, and the total number of occupants shall not include a tenant’s family member or an occupant’s dependent child. Regardless of the number of occupants, tenants named on the lease shall remain responsible for payment to the owner of the entire legal regulated rent. The charging of a rental amount to an occupant that exceeds that occupant’s proportionate share shall be deemed to constitute a violation of this Code." RENT STABILIZATION CODE section 2525.7(b).

Some court rulings have found that overcharging roommates is a ground for eviction.

So please be careful!