In our last Landlord-Tenant column (“Airbnb Encounters Legal Barriers in NYC,” April l 6, 2016), we discussed some of the statutes and regulations that posed legal barriers to Airbnb’s operations in New York City. This column will explore some recent court decisions concerning the short-term rental of residential apartments via Airbnb.
Given the relatively recent growth and popularity of Airbnb, there are few reported decisions on the topic by New York courts. The decisions that do exist, where they involve rent-regulated tenants, build on prior case law prohibiting tenants from profiteering on their below-market tenancies and renting their apartments on a short-term basis. While there is little dispute that tenants engaging in short-term rentals via Airbnb are violating the law and their leases, the main issue emerging in the case law is whether, based on the circumstances of each case, the tenant should be afforded an opportunity to cure the default.
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