A dream Thanksgiving vacation in the Big Apple turned into The Nightmare before Christmas for a California couple whose Airbnb reservation went bust.
Annette van Duren, a 63-year-old talent agent from LA, and her producer-husband, Alan Sacks, 73, used Airbnb on Oct. 21 to book a Chelsea apartment for a 10-day stay. They shelled out $2,081, or $170 per night plus a $45 cleaning fee and a $166 Airbnb service charge.
The couple was unaware that on the same day they booked, Gov. Cuomo signed a bill that would impose fines of up to $7,500 against hosts who posted short-term rentals, or that renting out whole apartments for less than 30 days had been illegal in NYC since 2010.
“I don’t know anything about New York City short-term-housing laws. I live in Los Angeles,” said van Duren. “If it was illegal, why did Airbnb have so many on their site to choose from in the first place? There were hundreds of listings.”
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