Illegal Home Sharing

Airbnb Crackdown by De Blasio Could Close Manhattan Bed-and-breakfast - Crain's

Excerpt from Crain\'s

Ivy Terrace, a 20-year fixture in Midtown, is an unintended casualty of the campaign against illegal home sharing

Mayor Bill de Blasio's war on illegal Airbnb rentals could claim a two-decade-old Midtown bed-and-breakfast whose owner says she has never used the home-sharing service.

The administration, pressured by the hotel workers' union and affordable-housing advocates, has spent much of the past year cracking down on landlords who have essentially converted apartments into hotel rooms through the popular website. The mayor has echoed concerns that Airbnb cuts into the housing supply and forces neighbors of rented units to put up with a revolving array of rowdy visitors.

State legislation passed in 2011 mandated that most residential buildings not zoned for hotel use rent only for periods longer than 30 days unless the homeowner is present. The city has made the statute the basis of its recent wave of enforcement, including against the Ivy Terrace bed-and-breakfast on East 58th Street, where Vinessa Milando has rented out six units to vacationers for 20 years. On Aug. 7 investigators slapped Milando with $8,000 in fines, which she fears will only multiply in the weeks to come.

"My business is a bed-and-breakfast. There's no way to fix the problem other than shutting down," she said. "This is all I do. This isn't a side gig. This is my business since '97."

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