Police seize 7 vans allegedly used as Airbnb rentals in Manhattan – CBS New York
NEW YORK (CBSNew York) – Getting a hotel in New York can get expensive, so imagine paying a little less to spend the night in a van instead.
The New York Sheriff said several vans were rented on Airbnb, but not anymore.
“It was just a big green pickup truck that was still there,” East Village resident Jane Dorsey told CBS2’s Lisa Rozner.
This van was one of seven impoundments Thursday and Friday.
Sheriff’s Highway Patrol MPs were busy this week impounding seven suspected fraudulent and illegally registered vans used as Airbnb rentals on various streets of Manhattan. ?? pic.twitter.com/rBZ1TBZ2xt
– NYC SHERIFF (@NYCSHERIFF) September 25, 2021
The sheriff’s office worked with the NYPD’s document fraud unit and discovered “an operation of alleged fraudulent and illegally registered vehicles being used as Airbnb rentals.”
Two were at Chelsea, one having racked up nearly $ 1,500 in parking infractions dating back to December 2020.
Five were in the East Village. A night inside one of these vans was posted on YouTube, which the sheriff said was part of the investigation.
“I still don’t know if it’s even legal,” someone says in the video.
On Airbnb, host Nancy said it can accommodate three people and called it a way to “experience the #VanLife in New York!” For bathrooms, she listed places like the local Starbucks and specific places open at night, like the Book Club Bar on East 3rd Street.
“A gentleman came in and asked to use the restroom,” said Mathuson Anthony, Book Club Bar employee.
An article online showed it was costing up to $ 97 a night in August.
“It’s cheaper than my apartment,” said a Chelsea resident.
“I was curious how they could go so long without being towed,” said Delphine Le Goff, a resident of East Village.
All of the plates were from New Jersey, and his registration expired 21 years ago.
The sheriff says an investigation is underway to find out who the owner (s) of the pickup trucks are.
“I didn’t really like the fact that Airbnb was taking over apartments in my building, so a van looks disgusting,” said Matt Miller, an East Village resident.
“It makes sense that people are doing this,” said Michael Medina, a resident of East Village.
That makes sense, he says, because as the vlogger who was a guest pointed out, the average overnight hotel stay in New York City is $ 400.
“I’m glad I did, but I will never do it again,” said the vlogger.
Now no one can ever do it.
An Airbnb spokesperson issued the following statement:
“The host and the ads in question are no longer active on the Airbnb platform. In June 2020, we entered into a strong information-sharing agreement with New York City and subsequently began complying with the City’s Short-Term Rental Data Disclosure Act, which provides regularly provide the city with the information it needs to effectively regulate short-term rentals. Law enforcement is the responsibility of the City, and it has the data to do so, in this case, possibly for months to come. “
Editor’s Note: This story first appeared on September 26, 2021.