FQ Blog

City Council Cracks Down on Hotels’ “Vicious Vacancies”


An article in the New York Observer on September 12 reported on the City Council’s welcome decision to raise fines on illegal hotels. Some building owners in New York City have been found converting permanent residences into illegal hotels packed with bunk beds, charging more than $100 per night for a stay in the units.

The Observer reports that Speaker Christine Quinn “had seen ‘residents being pushed out of their homes’ by landlords eager to make more money, including whole buildings emptied of their tenants.”

The fine will be raised from $800 per violation to $2,500 per violation—and from $1,000 to $25,000 for repeat offenders. Approximately 1,900 illegal hotel operators received fines in 2011—more than twice the number fined in the previous year.

We at Furnished Quarters applaud Ms. Quinn in her efforts to curb the operation of illegal hotels in New York City. Since 2007, we have partnered with other reputable corporate housing companies, working together with the City of New York to legitimize the corporate housing and short-term rental industry.

By providing corporations and individuals a flexible, safe, and affordable option for housing in New York and other markets throughout the U.S., we have built an industry that continually produces jobs and revenue to the cities where we operate.

The Furnished Quarters’ hotel alternative is an integral part of the hospitality industry in New York City—and we must protect it. Reducing the number of illegally operated hotels will increase the well-being of travelers, residents, and the corporate housing industry alike.

We hope that other cities will take note of New York’s increased fines for these “vicious vacancies” and implement similar measures to deter illegal activity. We look forward to future measures to eliminate other forms of illegal housing—as well as regulations to curb websites that continue to provide these illegally operated residents a vehicle to advertise.

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