Guy Fined $2.4K for Renting Out Condo on Airbnb

Nigel Warren's initial $7K fine lowered
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 21, 2013 6:43 AM CDT
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(Newser) – This may give you pause if you were considering renting out your apartment on Airbnb: A New York City man did just that, and now he'll have to pay a $2,400 fine. New York officials initially fined Nigel Warren $7,000 after he rented part of his condo to a woman for three days in September, arguing that he violated the city's law against illegal hotels as well as unrelated building and zoning codes. Airbnb stepped in on Warren's behalf and ultimately the building and zoning code fines were tossed out, but the illegal hotel fine remained, CNET reports.

Airbnb argued that the 2011 law prohibiting New Yorkers from renting out a property for less than 29 days was not meant for occasional hosts like Warren, but rather for landlords who bought residential properties and started running them as hotels. Warren says he'll talk to Airbnb (which he still considers "a great startup") before deciding whether to appeal. And would-be Airbnb hosts may not need to freak out just yet: CNET notes that New York only enforces the illegal hotel law when a complaint is filed; it's not clear who complained in this case, but Warren did have a housemate at the time of the renter's stay. (Read more Airbnb stories.)

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