It was bound to happen: Internet commerce colliding with arguably conflicting statutory restrictions: Two recent actions in Supreme Court and Civil Court, New York County, pitted Airbnb against the Rent Control Law – and the law won.
Brookford, LLC v. Penraat, 2014 NY Slip Op 24399 (Sup. Ct. N.Y. Co.) [decided on December 19, 2014] (Edmead, J.)
The Court summarized the facts:
Defendant Noelle Penraat (“defendant”), resides in four-bedroom, rent-controlled duplex apartment on Central Park West (the “Apartment”). Over the past two years, defendant has had 135 short-term rentals, some as short as for three nights, but none exceeding 21 days, facilitated by the use of the website Airbnb (www.Airbnb.com).
Defendant’s landlord, Brookfield, LLC (“plaintiff” or “Building Owner”), now moves by order to show cause for a preliminary injunction enjoining defendant from, inter alia, advertising and renting the Apartment to tourists and other visitors for stays of less than 30 days, in violation of [various sections of the] Rent Control Law (“RCL”)… Multiple Dwelling Law (“MDL”) New York Housing Maintenance Code (“HMC” or “Housing Maintenance Code”); New York City Building Code (“Building Code”)…and Building certificate of occupancy (“COO”).