NYC Sues First of Many Illegal Airbnb-ers

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Wasting no time since the state attorney general declared 72 percent of local Airbnb apartment listings illegal, the city is going on the offensive. The de Blasio administration has been granted a preliminary injunction against the owners of two residential buildings allegedly being run as illegal hotels, the Daily News reports. “When we have a bad actor putting people’s safety at risk, we’re going to go after them,” said First Deputy Mayor Anthony Shorris in a statement.

While it’s technically illegal for New York City residents to rent their entire place for fewer than 30 days at a time — room-shares and extended sublets are allowed — the city and attorney general’s office have insisted they’re not interested in small-time Airbnb-ers, but those using the share economy to become mini hospitality moguls. Their first targets: brothers Hamid Kermanshah and Abdolmajid Kermanshah, who own and operate a four-story building on Fifth Avenue and a ten-story building on West 31st Street.

A new report by attorney general Eric Schneiderman, released yesterday, found that 6 percent of Airbnb hosts in the city are making 37 percent of the revenue. “We need to work together on some sensible rules that stop bad actors and protect regular people who simply want to share the home in which they live,” the company said in response, although they’ve known about the issue — and have been expecting this fight — for some time.