Streams

Apartments for Rent: By the Night

Monday, June 02, 2008

John Raskin, director of organizing for Housing Conservation Coordinators, and State Senator Liz Krueger (D-Manhattan, 26th district), discuss the report on the proliferation of apartments being converted to illegal hotel rooms.

Guests:

Liz Krueger and John Raskin

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Comments [45]

UWS resident from UWS

Is the building at 230 West 101st street operating illegally as a hotel, as AM New York said back in April?
http://www.amny.com/news/local/am-hotel0501,0,7278931.story
There are still tons of backpackers there, and they even have a No Parking, painted curb in front of the entry for drop-off (like hotels do). Is that no-parking sign there illegally if they aren't supposed to be a hotel?

Jun. 03 2008 11:05 AM
Noah from Manhattan

42 is correct that rent regulations have actually destroyed the housing stock in NYC. You can't renovate or build something new without fighting for years (I have been working 20 years on a small townhouse to ADD housing to NYC). If y'all want cheapo housing, make the gov't (i.e. society) pay for it, not landlords. How about $500 cars and $10 computers with WI-FI for everyone!?

Jun. 02 2008 06:54 PM
tcw from brooklyn

I disagree.

Jun. 02 2008 01:12 PM
Sid Miller from Bronx, NY

the cause of our housing problems is the past 65 years of rent regulations. if you want the manhattan lifestyle you cannot get it in queens. rent regulations have eliminated competition in housing. if rent regulations were allowed to sunset in the 1940's, today we would have lots of housing in all five boroughs at prices people could afford. then anyone one could live anywhere if they are ready, willing and able to pay the price.

Jun. 02 2008 12:38 PM
Frank from new york, NY

Croman Realty (aka 9300 Realty) apparently run illegal hotels in some of their rental buildings...e.g. 73/75 East 3rd Street.

Jun. 02 2008 11:50 AM
Lucas Shapiro from Hell's Kitchen

Check out HCC's website... the report on illegal hotels should be up shortly: http://www.hcc-nyc.org

Jun. 02 2008 11:48 AM
Jennifer from Lower Manhattan

My upstairs neighbor rents her space out to groups of European tourists 6-8 people on a weekly basis. They party, smoke and leave trash. You never know who you'll find in the elevator or sitting on a pile of suitecases in the lobby. It's scarey!

Jun. 02 2008 11:36 AM
Sally from Brooklyn

I bought a fixer-upper in a marginal neighborhood a dozen years ago and have been systematically renovating it with the income I get from students and interns, many from Europe, who are very happy to have attractive furnished living quarters with a family atmosphere, in an area that is becoming increasingly hip. I keep a pretty low profile, and don't advertise, most of my contacts are through craigslist and word-of-mouth. I bring really nice people into our community, who love it here and often come back. I'm glad I don't have neighbors like your caller who was really scrambling to find something bad to say about people who rent for a few months - 'gardening at 3am with the lights on' 'pet smells' !!!!!
Since when do transients do gardening and have pets? That's sounds more like the eccentric old lady who's been in her house since way before any of us!

Jun. 02 2008 11:35 AM
Sarah from Brooklyn

Isn't the issue of individuals slicing up thier apartments for weekend / week rentals to tourists or apartment hunters a seperate issue? Maybe if people could affoard to actually live in NYC without taking such measures, this would be a non-issue. What they are doing is creative income and a signal of a larger problem.

Jun. 02 2008 11:34 AM
Peter from Brooklyn

Comment 29:

thats funny about the brownstone - when i was a little new yorker (in the late 70's) gropwing up in park slope, the neighborhood was converting from SRO brownstones to singele/doubble family houses.

Full cycle i guess

Jun. 02 2008 11:32 AM
Harold Dean from Brooklyn

Hi, two years ago I rented an apartment for a week in Budapest, was I participating in something like this? A very popular option for travel in Europe, and I think recently recommended on this show.

Jun. 02 2008 11:32 AM
Melody from Manhattan

I think those who have commented and have no problem with this seem to not have experienced it first hand. Our apartment buildings are being destroyed by these make-shift hotel set-ups.

Jun. 02 2008 11:30 AM
Dennis Barton from upper west side NY

there are landlords in this area that have over the years taking money from the city, to house people living with HIV/AIDS in affordable housing,and are now converting these apartments to tourists.

Jun. 02 2008 11:29 AM
Phoebe from NJ

@26 & 27: There is no inherent "right" to live in NYC. The sheer volume of cultural activities command a premium. There's a reason I live in NJ, and the cost of living goes down exponentially the further West you go (or try Atlanta, Cleveland et al for cheaper housing). #21 has a good point; why should time of residence cut yoru rent, and why should someone paying $600/mo be able to rent out for much more?

Jun. 02 2008 11:28 AM
Peter from Brooklyn

Brian Please ask:

Does an aparmtnet swap through an agency legal?
thanks
I may have missed the answer

Jun. 02 2008 11:28 AM
justen

From a visitor's perspective, sometimes its not just about price. I don't stay in hotels in nyc because they are mostly in parts of the city I don't want to be in. But if I can rent an apartment in the west village for a weekend and pay the same price, I'll definitely pick that over midtown.

Jun. 02 2008 11:28 AM
Peter Joseph from Brooklyn

I am on both sides of this. My wife and I just returned from Italy where we took advantage of apartment rentals found on Craig's list in both Rome and Venice. Through email exchanges with the owners we felt perfectly comfortable about both places and would do it again.
On the other hand someone bought a single family brownstone across from our brownstone in Park Slope and guit renovated it to seven apartments which they rent out short term. They had permits (I'm not sure for what type of construction), but I really doubt the usage is legal, since there are not two means of egress from each apartment (no fire escape on the front of the building). Also on the negative side it has already impacted an already difficult parking situation since the additional 7 apartments bring a greater than usual number of cars to an already crowded block.

Jun. 02 2008 11:25 AM
hjs from 11211

i wish my landlord would do this. i'd like to meet some europeans

Jun. 02 2008 11:25 AM
mk from rockaway

I have been a "transient" (albeit a quiet one) here and other places most of my adult life, and I think what you have failed to consider is that these "illegal" residences you describe often provide a place to live for people who would never qualify to live anywhere else. For example, the last "rent controlled" building i applied to required proof that i earn at least $30G/year.

Do you want to put us out on the street again so we can end up where we really belong (jail)? I think these people you are interviewing are just NIMBY closet fascists. And don't tell me "there are other places i could go". I've lived the life and that is a pile of cr#p

Jun. 02 2008 11:24 AM
RJ from brooklyn

Paul,
It's the ability of landlords to *overcharge* $2,800 per month for a one-bedroom that's the problem, not the need for those who make barely affordable wages, or even middle-income wages to afford to live in New York City! Why should people be forced to leave their longtime homes in their neighborhoods because of landlord greed?

Jun. 02 2008 11:24 AM
Lynn from manhattan

I DONT THINK PEOPLE understand the issue fully, this is NOT about renting condos or subletting apartments, its about landlords taking rent regulated units from New Yorkers to rent to tourists. Its not about regulating citizens, its about protecting citizens!

Jun. 02 2008 11:24 AM
Laura from UWS

That's Liz Krueger? WOW! What a refreshing voice of reason!

Thanks for putting attention on affordable housing and safety issues, too.

There was a fire in one of those 'hotels' in my neighborhood and I saw numerous young European tourists stranded in pyjamas and bathrobes after being evacuated.

Jun. 02 2008 11:24 AM
RJ from brooklyn

This is also part of an eating away of affordable housing, much like so-called "luxury control" that is no longer a luxury rental but almost a low rent these days.

Jun. 02 2008 11:22 AM
Bess from Mahhattan

You are missing the biggest issue!! The problem is not individuals renting out their rooms. The problem is major landlords furnishing their buildings and then turning them into corporate rentals. You must talk about the 1 month rule...

Jun. 02 2008 11:22 AM
Paul from Downtown

Misguided housing policy that artificially takes away housing stock from the market by rent-stabilization law makes everyone else pay more. I pay $2800 for a one bedroom apartment that my neighbor pays $650. How's this fair to me or to the landlord?

Jun. 02 2008 11:21 AM
mc from Manhattan

what are we ? anti tourist now? when I was in amsterdam I stayed in lovely , affordable ins in residential neighborhoods. There are a lot of positives for the tourist and the community that can come from this. I was born and raised in Manhattan , should I see all these heartland folks coming here and living their "sex and the city dreams " life the same way?

Jun. 02 2008 11:20 AM
Hans from Brooklyn

So people do this all the time in Europe and it's absolutely great. If it's illegal, then yes it should be stopped. But many of these comments seem to be from people who are just upset by their neighbors, who may not be doing anything wrong.

Jun. 02 2008 11:20 AM
Robert from NYC

There's a difference if folks "trade" living spaces for a vacation for a few weeks and a landlord "eliminating" permanent tenants from a building to rent them to tourist.

Jun. 02 2008 11:20 AM
polly Bookhout from Manhattan/ Columbus Circle

Is there a list of legal bed and breakfast sites? I have a cousin coming to the city with an online list which may include illegal sites.

Polly Bookhout

Jun. 02 2008 11:19 AM
J Buckley from E. Village

Where is the report? I do not see it on the website of Housing Conservation Coordinators.

[[producer's note: They are in the process of posting it. Check back later.]]

Jun. 02 2008 11:18 AM
ab

I find Brian's flipant attitude during this segment...disturbing.

Newsflash, Brian: we don't all live in nor can afford some gentrified,yuppified "luxury" housing and find the despicable housing situation in this city to be an issue of life and death! Get a clue!

Jun. 02 2008 11:18 AM
anthony clune from Brooklyn

I don't know about this. Rent is so high, if I want to leave town for a month, I should be able to sublet my room.

Ms. Krueger, stop this Gulianiesque regulation of every square inch. Fight violent crime or something...

Jun. 02 2008 11:18 AM
Melody from Manhattan

This is happening in my (non-condo) apartment building in Midtown. We have only two apartments per floor, so we've traditionally known our neighbors. Since the apartment was rented last winter, each week different groups of people (5-6 at a time, sometimes with kids) have been in and out of the apartment every week. The landlord was approached about the problem and was unaware. Its disconcerting to walk onto you floor everyday and not knowing who you'll encounter in the hall.

Jun. 02 2008 11:18 AM
Harvey from Manhattan

I visited a building I moved out of in 2004. Since then, a number of apts. have been marketed as hotel rooms. As a result, when I stopped in the compactor room to discard trash, there were roaches in that space. I asked a former neighbor about my findings and she explained that with a steady stream of transients in and out, the management is stressed to keep up with the need for housekeeping and that the "guests" themselves take absolutely no interested in the cleanliness of the building.

Jun. 02 2008 11:17 AM
veronica from manhattan

Whenever an apt. vacated in my old building, my landlord would rent out to corporations. Is that legal? That way he could get super high rents, since the company was paying and because of the high turn around of people was able to up the rent regularly.

It changed the vibe of the building completely, from family who stayed there for years to more of a hotel

Jun. 02 2008 11:17 AM
Micheal from Manhattan

I understand your guests passion . bUT I feel Like someone is trying to manipulate me on the issues when loaded words, such as "reputable " travel agents , and "partying" tourists etc are used to make worst case scenarios for your guests points. I HATE to be so obviously manipulated, please make your points without the the painfuly obvious rhetoric. I am synpathetic to the point by the way. But I dont think it is as necessarily evil as its being portraid.

Jun. 02 2008 11:17 AM
Merry from west side

does zoning allow hotel use in a residential district?

Jun. 02 2008 11:16 AM
Noah from Manhattan

The problem I see more is that people divide their apartments into smaller, illegal rooms and then let them to transient boarders. The landlord has no power to evict the original tenant who is making money off of boarders.

Jun. 02 2008 11:15 AM
Robert from NYC

It is sinister!!!

Jun. 02 2008 11:15 AM
Merry Neisner from west side

does zoning allow this?

Jun. 02 2008 11:14 AM
erin from manhattan

When my mom came to visit me in the city, she wanted to save money and rented a room in this building that had a lot of permanent tenants. Her stay was horrible and now Im guessing it was a building that was not meant to be rented to tourists.

Jun. 02 2008 11:14 AM
Robert from NYC

First, it's illegal. Second, people are looking for affordable housing because they can't afford unaffordable housing! Third, this might cause the breakdown of the stabilized housing which this really would be a disaster for many people.

Jun. 02 2008 11:14 AM
Nelson from NYC

Give me a break. This is just the hotel industry's attempt at keeping their stranglehold on tourists dollars.

Jun. 02 2008 11:10 AM
Robert from NYC

I hope you were just being the Devil's Advocate with that dumb question, Brian! With the housing problem what it is in NYC you wouldn't care?

Jun. 02 2008 11:10 AM
hjs from 11211

what has ms Krueger done for middle class housing in the city. hotel room hunting is a waste of my tax dollars.

Jun. 02 2008 11:05 AM

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