An Upper West Side woman accused of earning thousands of dollars by renting her rent-controlled duplex on Airbnb has been ordered to stop by a Manhattan judge, and her landlord says he will eventually try to evict her.
Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Carol Edmead ruled yesterday that Noelle Penraat, 62, has been illegally renting three of the four bedrooms in her Central Park West apartment for the past two years, raking in an average of $78,000 per year. Edmead issued a temporary injunction against Penraat, whose landlord has been trying to oust her, arguing that she was "profiteering" from the rentals, and rejecting Penraat's argument that the Airbnb patrons were not hotel guests since Penraat stayed in the apartment with them. "Unlike a typical sleepover these guests are not staying for free,” the judge ruled.
Penraat, whose apartment previously belonged to her deceased father, pays a monthly rent of $4,477, and she also reportedly earns government-subsidized benefits from the Senior Citizen Rent Increase Program. "She’s making more money by turning this apartment into a bed and breakfast than her landlord is getting in rent. This is supposed to be her home, not a profit making entity," the attorney for her landlord, Jeffrey Turkel, told the Daily News.
In a rent-controlled apartment, renting a room out for a sum egregiously higher than the rent can lead to eviction after a first offense. Penraat was reportedly renting her rooms out for $75-$150 a night or $450-$1,000 a week, and her landlord estimated she could earn as much as $118,300 a year if she rented the rooms year-round.
So, now all Penraat's left with is her magical unicorn of an apartment...unless her landlord manages to evict her, in which case that $4,477/month rent'll get jacked up fourfold.