June 25, 2017

Elderly Woman Battling Cancer Faces Eviction For Renting Spare Bedroom On Airbnb

Airbnb Inc. site on 12-inch Macbook laptop computer
Copyright: grinvalds / 123RF Stock Photo

A Greenwich Village woman is facing eviction from her rent-stabilized apartment after an appeals court ruled that she illegally profited off her home via Airbnb. Linda Lipetz, 70, says she was compelled to rent out her second bedroom in the 39 Fifth Avenue apartment after she was diagnosed with cancer and lost her job in 2010. But NYC housing law prohibits tenants in rent-stabilized apartments from subletting their homes for more than a 10% markup over their rent. Lawyers for Lipetz’s landlord, Shari Lynn Goldstein, successfully argued that Lipetz charged well over that limit to her Airbnb guests.

Lipetz’s monthly rent was $1,758 a month, which broke down to $57 a day. According to court documents, she charged her Airbnb guests $95 a night for individuals and $128 for couples. Lipetz allegedly rented out the second bedroom for 338 days over the course of 18 months, bringing in $33,592. (She says she stayed in the apartment when she had guests, and cooked for them.) After the landlord and her proxies discovered Lipetz’s subletting routine in 2012, they moved to evict her.

Lipetz has been fighting the eviction ever since, and claims that after her landlord told […]

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