In the News: Did you know that the city of New York is suing a real estate brokerage firm, Metropolitan Property Group? Apparently, the group was running an illegal network of Airbnb rentals including 130 apartments in 35 different Manhattan buildings. 13,691 Airbnb rentals were facilitated by the brokerage that housed 75,000 guests and brought in close to $21 million from 2015 through 2018.

The lawsuit is the largest of its kind to be brought by New York City and accuses the brokerage group of using a network of 18 different corporate entities and fake identities in order to generate numerous Airbnb host accounts, many of which had identical contact info and inaccurate addresses. For example, one of the brokerage’s agents allegedly used the name of his wife and her family to create 19 host accounts on the Airbnb system.

CEO of Metropolitan Property Group, Same Katri, and four other current and former employees were named in the lawsuit along with 5 different building owners who were aware of the situation and allowed it to continue on their properties. The lawsuit was filed only two weeks after a federal judge blocked the New York City law that was designed to crack down on the Airbnb situation in the area by requiring that they share host information with the city of New York.

Also related to the case, city officials raided the Atelier in November. The luxury condo on Manhattan’s Far West Side was the location of one of the largest Airbnb raids with close to two dozen violations handed out to owners who allegedly rented out apartments through the short-term rental company.

If you have questions about federal or state law and how it applies to your property or how you manage your property, please get in touch with one of the experienced real estate attorneys at Aronow Law PC today. We can assist you and help you avoid common mistakes that can lead to costly consequences.