New York City Cracks Down on Illegal Hotels

by Angelina Chavez
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Council Speaker Quinn at City Hall Steps

Angelina Chavez, WFUV

Landlords who turn their apartments into illegal hotels could be fined up to $25,000.

New York City is cracking down on landlords who run illegal hotels in residential buildings.

The legislation, which passed committee today, could mean up to $25,000 in fines. Councilman Daniel Garodnick says for many tenants, tourists are unwelcome guests.

“People are going to bed in their own homes waking up and realizing they live in a Holiday Inn without the room service,” said Garodnick.

The illegal conversion of residential buildings into hotels is also a safety hazard. Council speaker Christine Quinn says many buildings are not equipped to be hotels, and lack adequate fire alarms and sprinkler systems that hotels are required to have.

“We need to make sure that every tourist who comes here is putting their head on a pillow in a room that is safe. That's priceless,” said Quinn.

Illegal hotels also threaten the City’s affordable housing. Landlords have reportedly kicked out longtime tenants to make hotel rooms, and a quick buck.

As Quinn put it, “we are taking another step to protect New York City’s residents, to protect our affordable housing stock and also make sure New York City remains a place that tourists want to come to.”
 

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