Tenants suffering hard economic times have taken to renting their apartments for short term overnight or weekend stays, only to discover-often when it’s too late-that renting out some or all of a rent regulated apartment is not permitted under the Rent Stabilization Code. In fact, tenants can face eviction for commercializing and converting their apartments into profit-making hotel enterprises.

Landlords easily find out about short term rentals online. Landlords regularly peruse advertisements and see nightly rates and photographs of amenities; they even read reviews by those who have stayed. Once a short term rental is confirmed, a landlord can commence a holdover proceeding against the tenant for wrongful conduct. A tenant can be charged with unlawful rent overcharge and profiteering, causing his or her tenancy to be terminated, without a right to cure the violation.

Even if the hotel enterprise business is thriving in New York, it is unwise to convert your apartment into a short term hotel. You could lose your rent regulated apartment, which is a precious commodity in this day and age.

Elizabeth Donoghue