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City Councilman Warns Website Promoting Short-Term Rentals Violates The Law

Stuy Town, Peter Cooper Residents Have Received Mailings From FlipKey.com
A sign with a map of the buildings in Stuyvesant Town. (file/credit:  DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)

A sign with a map of the buildings in Stuyvesant Town. (file/credit: DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A travel website has been pushing tenants of one of the city’s biggest housing developments to rent out their apartments to vacationers.

But there’s one problem with the potentially lucrative arrangement: it’s illegal.

City Councilman Dan Garodnick lives in the sprawling Peter Cooper Village-Stuyvesant Town complex along the East River in Gramercy.

Garodnick said postcards have been flooding in, suggesting he use a website called FlipKey.com to rent out his apartment when he’s out of town.

“Only half-noticed the mailer,” Garodnick told WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman on Tuesday. “But then got a very urgent plea from the owners of the property.”

The flyers boast tenants can make $1,000 on rental income while they’re away. The practice is against the terms of the lease, but also against the law, Garodnick said.

“Residential buildings are not hotels and they’re configured differently and there are different safety considerations,” Garodnick said. “It’s not a practice that’s consistent with the law.”

It is illegal to sublet an apartment for less than a month in a building with six or more units in New York City.

A one-bedroom apartment at the East Side housing complex goes for $3,000 a month, Silverman reported.

“Go to sleep at night at home and wake up feeling like they’re in a Holiday Inn,” said Garodnick.

Garodnick has written to the company owned by TripAdvisor, asking them to stop advertising because he said they ought to know the law.

“If they didn’t, now they do,” Garodnick told Silverman. “It’s time for them stop their advertisements.”

FlipKey sent the following statement to Silverman on Tuesday afternoon:

“FlipKey will no longer send this advertising campaign to residents of Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village beyond what’s already been sent out.”

The 110-building complex is currently home to about 30,000 people, according to the Peter Cooper-Stuyvesant Town website.

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