NY Rental. Hot water stops in building.

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May 27, 2018
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#1
I cannot find a way to contact supervisors at airbnb. The hot water in the building was broken for 1/3 of our 8 night stay. We asked for reimbursement. Owners out of the country. (We were asked after we paid etc.to tell the super if he saw us that we were friends.) When hot water broke we couldn't reach owners, and had no local contact. Owners and airbnb calling it inconvenience. How do we contact higher-ups at airbnb. Thank you.
 
May 27, 2018
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#3
Thank you for the advice. Our problem was that the super kept telling the owners via email that it was about to be fixed, and we kept waiting. All this done by email through airbnb. I see that we should have gone directly to Airbnb and started asking for reimbursement right away. Now I know. We were also worried about having contact with the super because once we paid, the owners told us to lie to the super and say we were their friends. It turns out this rental was illegal in New York City. Lots of lessons, i hope learned.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
11,966
12,215
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New York
www.promalvacations.com
#4

AMA

Verified Member
Dec 11, 2014
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#5
Aren't all Air BNB "rentals" in New York City illegal? Something about a resident occupancy law?
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#7
NYC is complicated with zoning laws but once someone tells you to lie to a super then that is a pretty clear sign that something is not right. I have had friends use air bnb the legal way in NYC — but that means an apartment in an owner occupied brownstown or a room where the leaseholder/owner is present.

I do not understand why people who have the lease risk it as the city does go after people as do landlords, especially if the apartment is under some sort of rent regulation. And sometimes the way the city finds out is other tenants complain.

Sounds like there were boiler problems with the building.

I can look up the zoning of the building if you send me the address by message to give you a definitive answer. I do this for my friends so they do not get into a bad situation.
 
May 27, 2018
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#8
NYC is complicated with zoning laws but once someone tells you to lie to a super then that is a pretty clear sign that something is not right. I have had friends use air bnb the legal way in NYC — but that means an apartment in an owner occupied brownstown or a room where the leaseholder/owner is present.

I do not understand why people who have the lease risk it as the city does go after people as do landlords, especially if the apartment is under some sort of rent regulation. And sometimes the way the city finds out is other tenants complain.

Sounds like there were boiler problems with the building.

I can look up the zoning of the building if you send me the address by message to give you a definitive answer. I do this for my friends so they do not get into a bad situation.
How do i send you the address by message?
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#10
Hi Abar, I sent you a message, which is actually a private conversation, so sorry I used the wrong term. Look at the envelope icon in the upper right corner.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#11
Taking the whole picture in on people renting their houses/apartments ... it's illegal in a great many places but has been enforced sporadically. Depends on the political situation in Manhattan or Paris for instance ... it's a risky game for both owner and renter. I cannot imagine why people want to play this game. Except for saving money I guess. "Real" apartments are proliferating ... Extended Stay comes to mind. I love those places for the full kitchen when I'm travelling solo.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#13
One thing to be concerned about with reporting it is that the OSE (enforcement) it is harder for the city to do anything well after the fact, and enforcement is overburdened.

Also it is not just tenants that are doing the illegal rentals, some landlords have been fined for turning vacant apartments into short term rentals -- they make more money that way.

Sometimes reporting it to the landlord does not do anything, as the landlord does not want inspectors to come to the building because they have code violations....

It is a functioning dysfunctional city...
 
Likes: Neil Maley
Feb 3, 2017
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#15
Given what is going on here (NYC) with Airbnb - reporting to them that this is an illegal listing may well help you with some reimbursement.

They need to be informed as does the city. The law was made more punitive for hosts - as just listing an illegal vacation rental on airbnb or any vacation rental website will (when reported) incur huge fines for them, never mind what they will pay if busted by the city.

Good luck - horrible experience but should spur you into looking into local laws in other cities in future if considering vacation rentals as many places are passing legislation to regulate the practice but all the laws are different.
 
May 27, 2018
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#16
With your support I was able to work out a fair compensation with Airbnb. I was polite, just described the situation, and I found a supervisor who cared and listened. Now, because I am visiting a sick friend in NY, I have to consider the legality question. It is a tough call. Many thanks to all who wrote me. And a special shout out to Christina H.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
11,966
12,215
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#19
This landlord should NOT be renting this apartment for short term leases. Airbnb is not doing anything to stop this. You have the option of doing so by reporting it so others don't get ripped off like you did. When a landlord tells you to say you are related to pick up keys that should be a red flag that is it an illegal rental. What id there are electrical problems or the apartment isn't fit to be rented and a fire happens?
 
Likes: GeorgeNYC
Sep 19, 2015
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#20
Thank you abar, I am happy to help. I am happy you were able to come to a positive resolution with Air BnB and sorry that your visit to NYC was marred by lack of hot water; when the boiler/water heating is not working it is icy cold, and to have that while visiting a sick friend makes for a stressful trip. May your future travels be better.