Marking the Implementation of the Illegal Hotels Law

Thomas K. Duane

May 02, 2011

Last year, the New York State Legislature passed legislation signed into law by then Governor David Paterson that would clarify that Class A multiple dwelling residential buildings may only be used as long-term residential housing, and not as transient, “illegal” hotels. This law, designed to fight the proliferation of illegal hotels, was slated to take effect May 1, 2011.  However, illegal hotel operators filed a lawsuit and sought a preliminary injunction, threatening to postpone the implementation date of the bill.  I am pleased to report that on April 30, Judge Richard Sullivan of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York denied the preliminary injunction and thus the law did indeed go into effect this past Sunday. This sensible and carefully-crafted legislation will finally enable us to effectively shut down dishonest operators, who create hazardous conditions for permanent residents and tourists alike, reduce our affordable housing stock, and undercut the legitimate hotel industry that is such an important part of our economy.  I applaud all of the stakeholders who worked so hard to secure this incredibly important victory.  If you believe your landlord has converted units in your apartment building into illegal hotel rooms, please call 311 and then report the complaint number you are given to Sarah Meier-Zimbler in my district office at (212) 633-8052.