New York City has one of the toughest real estate markets, which sees renters often paying exorbitantly high prices for absolutely terrible apartments. However, two renters decided to change the game and turn their three bedroom apartment in Queens into a 10 bedroom hostel listed on Airbnb. Not surprisingly, their landlord is less than thrilled.
Eddie Shiew rented the $2500 a month apartment to Burak Firik and Dogan Kimili, and was completely unaware of the two men’s undertaking. After being notified of their renovations, he proceeded to tear everything out of the apartment and send his tenants packing. However, Firik and Kimili took him to court, and they were eventually reinstated in the apartment, hanging up curtains as room dividers and relisting on Airbnb for $35/a night. Still, Shiew’s attorney is confident that they will be able to remove the two men within a few months.
Earlier in December, Airbnb released some new data that revealed that most NYC hosts were listing illegally. While Firik and Kimili claim to be following the letter of the law, to say that the operation is shady would be an understatement. At least Airbnb seems to be taking these claims of illegal activity seriously, releasing a statement today to Gothamist:
We have suspended listings we believe are associated with this story while we investigate and we will take appropriate action. Situations like these are rare and we strongly oppose illegal hotels.