Landlord Can't Recover Airbnb Violation Fines from Tenant Where There's No Proof of Fines
LVT Number: #32920
Landlord sued tenant, seeking reimbursement of fines imposed on it by city agencies because tenant illegally sublet her apartment through Airbnb. Tenant asked the court to dismiss the case. She claimed that she had appeared at four hearings before the city Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (OATH) but that the violations were dismissed. In response, landlord argued that tenant impermissibly hosted Airbnb guests and that, as a result, landlord incurred attorneys' fees and expenses in connection with two trials before OATH. Landlord claimed that tenant's lease required her to pay for such fees.
The court ruled for tenant because landlord specifically sued tenant only to recover fines it had claimed were imposed, and landlord didn't ask the court for permission to amend its court papers. Since there were no fines, there was no relief that the court could grant. The court noted that landlord could start a separate case on the theory that tenant was responsible for landlord's costs to defend against violations based on tenant's use of Airbnb for unauthorized apartment rentals.
148 E. 30th St. Co., LLC v. Chun: Index No. 151541/2023, 2023 NY Slip Op 333219(U)(Sup. Ct. NY; 9/18/23; Bluth, J)