New York empire of illegal Airbnb rentals booked 75,000 guests, suit says

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Source: The New York Times
By Luis Ferré-Sadurní
January 14, 2019

According to the suit, the largest of its kind ever brought by the city, Metropolitan Property Group, a real estate brokerage firm, used a complex web of 18 corporate entities and fake identities on Airbnb to convert 130 apartments in the buildings into de facto hotel rooms.

It is illegal under state law to rent out apartments in most buildings for fewer than 30 days unless the permanent tenant is present when a guest is renting.

The lawsuit underscored what critics of Airbnb have long argued: that commercial operators use the platform to essentially turn residential apartments into illegal hotels for tourists, taking units off the market for New Yorkers and aggravating the city’s housing shortage.

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