Tenant Fined $7,000 for Vacation Sublet

A NYC tenant is facing $7,000 in fines after subletting his room as a vacation rental for three nights.

According to a report, the tenant allegedly placed a listing in Airbnb, an ever-popular networking service that matches vacationers with private rooms in residences throughout the world. The tenant is believed to have rented out his room for three nights at about $100 per night while he, too, was on vacation.

New York City lawmakers have taken steps to end the practice by prohibiting short-term rentals to strangers in residential properties. The law was designed to protect the hotel industry, which stands to suffer great losses. The law makes an exception for overnight guests as long as the tenant is still home, although whether that exception applies to routinely renting to strangers is still unclear.

Other tenants tend to find the practice unappealing, especially once they encounter strangers in the building.

One criticism that has been levied against Airbnb is a lack of vetting, and at least one lawsuit has been filed by a user whose ‘tenant’ stole her papers and identity.

According to the report, Airbnb sent lawyers to the hearing for the tenant facing fines, apparently in an attempt to temper the NYC law, and preserve its business model for other tenants who find it lucrative to cash in on extra space.

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