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Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. Halts Airbnb Abuses by Unit Owner

The Board of a Condominium engaged Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. after one of its units owners repeatedly listed his apartment on Airbnb, and other transient use websites, for short-term rentals, in violation of New York law and the governing documents of the building.

Specifically, § 27-2004.a.8(a) of the Housing Maintenance Code, expressly prohibits transient, short-term rentals of Class A multiple dwellings.

At the time that the Board engaged Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C., the New York Department of Buildings had already issued multiple violations, including a Class I violation, to the Board, as a result of Defendant’s illegal transient use.

Despite the Board’s repeated efforts to stop the unit owner from violating applicable law and the governing documents of the building, the unit owner continued to advertise the apartment for transient use.

Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. immediately filed for a temporary restraining order, enjoining the unit owner from renting his apartment for short-term rentals, arguing that not only was such transient use illegal, but that the risks to the occupants of the building were significantly heightened given the possible spread of COVID from strangers coming to and from the building, who had no accountability to comply with the safety protocols instituted by the Board.

The Court promptly granted the Board’s temporary restraining order, but Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. still need to persuade the Court that the Board had met the extremely high burden of entitlement to preliminary injunctive relief, prohibiting broad and numerous illegal activities relating to the transient use of the apartment by the unit owner.

At the hearing on the preliminary injunction, Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. argued that the risk of irreparable harm had been established given the life and safety risks created to the residents of the building by having unregulated and unmonitored persons staying in the building.  Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. argued that such risks were further heightened due to COVID as the legal residents of the building were forced to work from home, and therefore were spending greater time in the building around such illegal tenants.

In support of the threshold requirement that the Board had a likelihood of success on the merits of its claims, Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. argued that the overwhelming evidence, including testimony of unit owners in the building, and advertisements and images from Airbnb, submitted in support of the Board’s application, established that Defendant was illegally renting his apartment for short-term rentals.

Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. finally argued that the balancing of the equities weighed in favor of the Board, given that the Board was merely requiring Defendant to comply with the New York applicable law and by-laws of the building, which prohibited short-term rentals for less than thirty (30) days.

The Court agreed with Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C., finding that the Board was entitled to a preliminary injunction on all aspects of the relief sought.

Joanna C. Peck represented the adjacent owner in this matter.

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