New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community

Habitat Magazine Insider Guide




Another Victory in the Fight Against Illegal Hotels

Midtown, Manhattan

Sublet Fine

One of the illegal hotels that resulted in a $1.2 million settlement with the city (image via Google Docs)

Jan. 5, 2018

The tide may be turning in the fight against illegal short-term sublets. Yesterday we reported that the 1,144-unit Trump Tower West co-op on Coney Island successfully sued to get access to Airbnb records, part of its campaign to evict a shareholder who has sublet his apartment in violation of state and city laws and the co-op’s sublet policy. Now the New York Post reports that the owner of four residential buildings has agreed to pay $1.2 million as part of a settlement with the city over four illegal hotels in Manhattan. 

Salim Assa, who owns the four residential buildings, was charged with renting his coveted Midtown apartments to a parade of tourists over the past several years. The $1.2 million settlement was the highest ever in the city, according to the mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement.

As part of the settlement, Assa’s four properties – at 15 and 19 W. 55th St., 334 W. 46th St., and 336 W. 46th St. – will be run by an independent property manager and be overseen by the city for the next three years.

A group of retirees in two of the buildings helped bring the case against Assa, city lawyers told The Post. Similar vigilance produced results at the Coney Island co-op, where residents noticed strangers coming and going from an apartment, then alerted management and the board. “When people see something,” says the co-op board president Felix Khusid, “they need to say something.” 

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