If you see an Airbnb listing for a New York City apartment with rooftop views, be warned that you may be paying hundreds of dollars a night to stay in an illegally constructed shack underneath a bridge.
According to the New York Daily News, the landlord of an industrial building in Brooklyn was caught renting out poorly constructed, unlawful rooftop rooms to tourists through Airbnb.
When inspectors showed up to Brooklyn’s DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) neighborhood to investigate these high-price hovels, they found three of the five rooftop units occupied by paying customers.
One of them was actually asleep when city officials barged in and snapped this photo:
The building’s certificate of occupancy calls for manufacturing on the first and second floor.
“With illegal construction, including dangerous and unpermitted gas and electrical hookups, the property owner and an Airbnb host showed an astonishing disregard for the safety of visitors to the city,” Christian Klossner, executive director of the Mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement, said. “These rooms, on the roof of a manufacturing building in Dumbo, offer one more example of how dangerous illegal rentals can be.”
Listings for the rooms — which have since been removed from Airbnb — promised “amazing views” and “rooftop access.” Each rental had one or two beds, bathrooms, TVs, microwaves, and small sitting areas.
What those rooms didn’t have, according to the mayor’s office, was required exits, fire alarms, and authorized gas lines.
Airnb won’t be held liable for the law-breaking listing, however, after the company settled a lawsuit with the state of New York last year that said any penalties for illegal rentals would only apply to individual hosts.