Brodsky organization sues tenant for illegal listing on Airbnb

Daniel Brodsky and One Columbus Place (Getty / Patrick McMullan, Brodsky)

The Brodsky organization is suing a tenant in its luxury Columbus Circle apartment building, claiming months of missed rent – despite the unit’s illegal rental on Airbnb.

In a lawsuit filed last week, Brodsky alleges tenant Aleksandra Melnik has been renting a One Columbus Place apartment to strangers for more than six months, violating both the lease and a collective housing law that prohibits renting in short term in units designated for tenure. residence.

To make matters worse, Melnik owes the Brodsky Organization, which owns more than sixty apartment buildings across New York City, nearly $ 52,000 in overdue rents, the lawsuit says.

Although the one-year lease of $ 3,375 per month for the 51-story building expired on November 30 of last year, Melnik still lives there and markets the unit on Airbnb, through which until 45 guest groups have booked tours. , says Brodsky.

Additionally, Brodsky says Melnik hasn’t paid any rent since March 2020, according to court documents.

The Brodsky organization has filed two lawsuits against Melnik and is seeking to recover the rent owed with interest and attorney fees, as well as at least $ 500,000 in damages for Airbnb fees.

On Tuesday, a judge granted Brodsky a temporary restraining order prohibiting Melnik from using the apartment as a passing hotel.

The Airbnb listing in question – which has since disappeared from the platform – advertised the apartment for $ 163 per night and had 26 reviews of guests who allegedly stayed there last month.

The lawsuit claims it included photographs of the premises and that reception staff observed an “endless parade of unknown individuals arriving with luggage” to check in at an Airbnb in the building.

An Airbnb representative said the One Columbus Circle address was not the address they had on file for the ad, which The real deal examined before it was removed. However, the temporary visitor log that was submitted as evidence largely bears the same names as the Airbnb users who left reviews. One reviewer said the address on the list was not accurate.

The alleged list is named “Near Central Park # A1”. The host’s account also featured three other apartments, listed as “near the Empire State Building,” “near Madison Square Garden,” and “near Time Square,” with some of the same photos as the “near-by. Central Park # A1 ”. The host has another listed apartment in Tampa, Florida with no notice.

The Brodsky organization is not the only owner to sue Melnik. The Herald Towers luxury apartment building also filed an eviction non-payment complaint.

Melnik, who declined to comment, rented an apartment at Herald Towers at 50 West 34th Street from November 26, 2019 to December 14, 2020, roughly the same time as Brodsky’s Columbus Circle building lease. But Melnik is also said to continue to occupy the Herald Towers apartment and has not paid rent since February 2020.

The lawsuit claims that Melnik owes Herald Towers $ 62,116.13 in rent.

On January 31, 2021, Herald Towers ended Melnik’s tenancy, but Melnik remained in the building without permission.

In March of this year, Melnik filed a hardship statement in both the One Columbus Circle and Herald Towers buildings, attributing the missed rent payments to financial hardship triggered by the pandemic.

Unless state lawmakers take further action, New York’s eviction moratorium will end on August 31.

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