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Airbnb.com is gaining traction in many major cities; New York included. Whether you realize it or not, nearly 75 percent of all Airbnb listings in the Big Apple are illegal. In fact, renting out your NYC apartment for less than 30 days has been against the law since 2011.
But beyond breaking laws, if you own your unit, you could be decreasing the value of your co-op or condo every time you take a renter, or even endangering your life or the lives of those in your building.
Consider these seven reasons why you shouldn’t let strangers stay in your apartment, no matter how much dough you can collect per night.
1. Criminal Behavior
Have you done a background check on potential renters? Since candidates aren’t pre-screened, you could be renting your apartment to a criminal. Not only could your favorite piece of jewelry go missing but be prepared for much worse, like the Chelsea apartment that was destroyed by a sex party this past March. Or perhaps someone will attempt to steal your identity, use your place as a brothel, or as a meth lab.
2. Wear and Tear
When you have people coming and going, you’ll certainly see it in the upkeep of your apartment. Damages to walls, floors, appliances, etc. will accumulate much faster than if your mother comes for a visit. Have you ever noticed the dents, dings, and scratches, when you stay in a hotel room? That’s what your apartment will be: a hotel room, and soon enough your home sweet home will resemble one.
What’s to stop someone who’s stayed in your apartment from copying your keys? Do you plan to change your locks every time a renter checks out? You’ll be compromising the safety of not only yourself but your neighbors. If any of those criminals from point number one are convicted felons, well, I’ll let you use your imagination on this one.
4. Bed Bugs
Hotels are known to be breeding grounds for bed bugs, and with people checking in and out frequently, your apartment will be at risk. The more often you rent out your pad, the higher chance of these little critters showing up. You don’t want to call Roscoe, now do you?
Loud noises might seem incidental, but for your neighbors who are trying to sleep, relax, study, read, or just live in their apartments, disruptive sounds from the strangers next door or above, will be a downright nuisance. Expect a call from your landlord or management company, and it won’t be to say, “hello.”
6. Tension between neighbors
With the high risks of those things mentioned above, you can only imagine that you won’t exactly be in good standing with your neighbors or anyone in your building, for that matter. Not only will floormates stop speaking with you (talk about uncomfortable moments in the elevator), but they could also make your life a living hell. You won’t be on the favorite shareholder or tenant list of your super, either.
7. You could be fined or evicted.
Yes, this is the truth. If someone reports you to the city (a neighbor, doorman or super), depending on the language of your lease, you could be fined thousands of dollars, even for a first offense. And as a repeat offender, you could be thrown in jail for contempt of court and even evicted. Not only will you be out thousands of dollars (probably more than you made on Airbnb in the first place), but you’ll have no place to live. And in this town, we know how it’s nearly impossible to secure an apartment even with great references and a substantial amount of cash in the bank.