AirBnB is making the news yet again. The business structure that lets people rent out their property to perfect strangers is back in the news due to the service being utilized to commit a crime.
According to a report by the NY Post, an artist was making a ton of money off of her Tribeca loft through Airbnb. Additionally the artist also owned an East Village condo. Now the woman in question, Eileen Hickey, is being sued by her landlord for subletting the rent-stabilized loft.
Hickey was sued on Monday by her landlord Robert Moskowitz, who desperately wants her to leave the two-bedroom Tribeca loft after discovering what she was doing through Airbnb. The landlord also wants a cut of the money that Hickey made when she decided to rent out the loft via Airbnb.
According to court documents the artist, whose work has been featured in the film Eat Pray Love, took in an estimated $4,500 a month and paid the landlord $1,463.79 a month, which is illegal.
Hickey has listed her loft through 2012 and since then she’s had visitors from the UK, Australia, and the Netherlands kick off their shoes and use the loft as a home away from home while in the New York area. According to her landlord, he insists that the artist knew she was breaking the law because she told a guest in 2013, “if anyone asks about this transient renting subleases that [she] should state that she is Eileen Hickey’s friend.”
Although Moskowitz had his suspicions, he was able to catch Hickey when a subletter visiting from Spain hung a banner from the fourth floor fire escape to welcome his friends. According to The Post, attorney Carl Peluso was on the case immediately following that incident.
We said, ‘What’s going on here?’ Then we started to check out what was on Airbnb and other Web sites.”
As for her Airbnb listing Hickey described the loft as, “superb location. . . in the heart of Tribeca and steps from Spring Street.”
This isn’t the first time Airbnb has made the news. Back in March we ran a report about a renter who threw a sex party for overweight people in an unsuspecting man’s apartment through AirBnB. The upscale apartment rented out by the platform became a sex den for a weekend. Initially it was believed that the renter David Carter was going to use professional comedian Ari Teman’s apartment to put up his in-laws, but apparently that was an elaborate cover.
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