We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Oh no... I booked through AirBnB

Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Level Contributor
19 posts
Save Topic
Oh no... I booked through AirBnB

I just read some of the threads about AirBnB and I'm starting to panic... I was very thorough in choosing the property but I did make reservations (and pay) for an AirBnB property on the UWS for August. I'm on the phone right now to see if I can get my money back... I don't see how they can NOT refund when these properties are illegal in NYC (which I had NO idea about when I made the reservations). I guess I could go through my credit card company but would that take too long? I'm on a limited budget and would not be able to make other reservations until the funds were freed up. Ugh.... Am I just screwed here? I'll be with a 6 year old and can't risk that we have no where to stay.

Portland, Maine
Level Contributor
11,213 posts
30 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Oh no... I booked through AirBnB

If you dispute a credit card charge within, I think, 60 days of when it appears, then you don't have to pay that amount until the issue is resolved. Unless you get an immediate refund, I'd do that.

I'd also tell AirBnB that you're giving the contact information for your rental to the NY State Attorney General, who is investigating them.

If you really want to play hardball, and you can identify the building's ownership, you could report them to the management if a rental, or to their co-op board, which would certainly take a dim view of this.

Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
26 posts
1 review
Save Reply
2. Re: Oh no... I booked through AirBnB

Did you rent a room or an apartment? If the owners live on the property and rent out a room, then it is legal. The private-rooms thing is specifically legal under what's known as the "boarder law." When we were all pushing the illegal-hotels law, the boarder exception was held up as a way of protecting individuals. Here's the state Senate on the issue:

nysenate.gov/report/answers-new-yorkers-conc…

"The 2010 law does not apply to owners of single-family and two-family homes, or residents who rent out individual rooms in their homes for less than 30 days (as long as they are also there the entire time). Many members of “Peers,” and the general public, appear to have been misinformed about this fact. ... Additionally, residents who rent out rooms in their homes for less than 30 days (as long as they are also there the entire time) are not engaged in illegal hotel activity."

Astoria, New York
Level Contributor
14,386 posts
Save Reply
3. Re: Oh no... I booked through AirBnB

If it is in an apartment building it still may not be strictly kosher, and could be violating other laws.

Also from the above link:

But wait, my lease says I can’t do that anyway! Yes, the vast majority of rental leases, as well as most co-op and condo bylaws, do not allow tenants to rent out their apartments without first obtaining permission from their landlords or coop/condo board. This means that landlords (and many coop and condo buildings) can initiate eviction cases against those who are engaged in illegal hotel activity.

"What about subletting and roommates? The changes made to the law in 2010 did not in any way impact tenants’ rights to have roommates, sublet their apartments, or have non-paying guests stay with them. Additionally, residents who rent out rooms in their homes for less than 30 days (as long as they are also there the entire time) are not engaged in illegal hotel activity. Rent-regulated tenants should, however, be careful about renting out rooms for less than 30 days without first obtaining permission from their landlords. My office has heard that some landlords have started Housing Court cases against rent-regulated tenants who rented out rooms for less than 30 days, claiming that the tenants turned their apartments into commercial operations and/or charged the “guests” more than a proportionate share of the rent."

4. Re: Oh no... I booked through AirBnB

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This post was determined to be inappropriate by the TripAdvisor community and has been removed.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

Our staff may also remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason. Thanks for being a part of the TripAdvisor travel community!

Removed on: 19 June 2014, 20:06
Manchester, United...
Level Contributor
12,877 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Oh no... I booked through AirBnB

Could not disagree more with what Platna says

Personally the risk alone is not worth it to me

Long Island
Level Contributor
1,660 posts
25 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Oh no... I booked through AirBnB

And if you get evicted or find you don't have a place to stay, feel free to call Platna who will gladly put you up for free.

Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Level Contributor
19 posts
Save Reply
7. Re: Oh no... I booked through AirBnB

I was offered a full refund from the host, but only 50% was refunded once I cancelled, which I assume was automatic and that she will refund the rest soon. I'm still out over $110 for the AirBnB fees which I will fight for, but at least I'm getting most of the money back. There's still plenty of time to make other reservations. I would've taken the risk if I wasn't traveling with a young child.

Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
5,445 posts
24 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Oh no... I booked through AirBnB

Was the AirBnb price *that* much cheaper than a well-researched hotel? What's the draw that you would have taken the risk?

Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Level Contributor
19 posts
Save Reply
9. Re: Oh no... I booked through AirBnB

i chose it for location-- the property is about 3 blocks from family friends, in an area on the UWS where the hotels have very high prices or won't accommodate 3 people in a room.

Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
5,445 posts
24 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Oh no... I booked through AirBnB

I imagine there may be thousands (?) of folks like you deciding whether to take the risk. Hmmm I wonder what all the visitors will do if/when they get their AirBnb canceled 3 days prior to their trip and everyone is scrambling for an expensive last-minute hotel room.

Not criticizing -- just musing.

Edited: 19 June 2014, 21:13