Airbnb Decision Due

Governor Cuomo has until October 29th, but is expected to act sooner, on the AirBnb bill which would prohibit advertising illegal short term rentals…and severely crimp AirBnb’s business model. The company and opponents were still fighting while the Governor deliberated.

Multiple tenants in buildings owned by A&E Real Estate Holdings have sued in Supreme Court, claiming that individual apartment rent increases were inflated to deregulate apartments. A spokesperson for A&E noted that the Housing Rights Initiative, which organized the tenants, did not ask them about the charges before going to court, and that 52 of 55 examples cited dated to prior ownership.

A jewel thief and a man the press dubbed a ninja were among the other rent stabilized tenants in the news (and court) this week. The thief is trying to keep her apartment as a primary residence while jailed out of state, while the second tenant’s landlord has taken him to court for waving his sword at fellow tenants, abusing his dog in the lobby, and damaging the building generally.

And a tenant sued the City, unsuccessfully, to try to get the zoning prohibition against lit signs on high residential floors ruled unconstitutional. The court said the tenant did not have a free-speech right to a neon peace sign in her condo’s 17th floor window.

HPD has begun enforcement of prevailing wage requirements for building service employees in buildings receiving 421a tax benefits. Owners report receiving notices in the mail to show they meet the standards.

Thirty story apartment towers are envisioned for parts of East Harlem according to city officials outlining the Mayor’s rezoning plans for the area at a community meeting this week. The meeting was to get neighborhood feedback before formal changes are proposed.

What price history? There were reports yesterday that the Landmarks Preservation Commission would consider extending the South Village Historic District in lower Manhattan in exchange for the local councilman’s support of a 1.7 million square foot project, including 1,586 apartments, that the de Blasio administration wants approved on Washington Street across from Pier 40.

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