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Bloomberg Administration: Short-Term Apartment Rental Firm’s Practices Are Deceptive

Mayor Michael Bloomberg at a news conference Sept. 10, 2012 (credit: Rich Lamb/WCBS 880)

Mayor Michael Bloomberg at a news conference Sept. 10, 2012 (credit: Rich Lamb/WCBS 880)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Bloomberg administration has staged a crackdown on illegal and unsafe tourist accommodations.

As 1010 WINS Stan Brooks reported Tuesday, the Mayor’s Office has filed a lawsuit against the firm Smart Apartments, charging that the company is operating illegal and unsafe short-term tourist accommodations in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks reports

The lawsuit is the first of its kind.

The buildings range from brownstones in Brooklyn to luxury buildings in Midtown Manhattan. And John Feinblatt, Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s chief policy adviser, said the problem with the buildings is serious.

“It’s deceptive, because people think they’re getting legitimate hotel rooms when they’re not,” Feinblatt said. “Sometimes they think they’re getting a luxury hotel room and they find that they’re actually on the fourth floor of a walkup of a brownstone in Brooklyn, and the other thing is it’s just not safe.”

The safety risks are many, Feinblatt said.

“It’s not safe to have people who are staying in rooms where they don’t know where the fire exits are; they don’t know what safety precautions exist in the building; the buildings aren’t sprinklered,” he said.

And the advertising by Smart Apartments is also misleading, Feinblatt said.

“Some of them are run down. Some of them promise clean linen service and people get dirty linen. Some of them promise daily cleaning service, and that doesn’t exist,” he said.

Feinblatt said the rental of the illegal accommodations is also unfair to the other residents of the building.

He said Smart Apartments’ practices are deceptive, and must be stopped.

Do you know anyone who has stayed in accommodations from Smart Apartments? Tell us about it below…