KMWB Proves Department of Buildings Failed to Establish Client’s Liability, Successfully Appeals 4 Violations

Rachel Kramer successfully appealed 4 ECB violations issued by the Department of Buildings, relating to alleged transient use of a client’s property. As a result of an advertisement for a short-term rental placed by the tenant of record, often times referred to as an “Airbnb Ad”, and the results of an inspection, the Department of Buildings issued 4 class 1 violations, seeking significant penalties.   Rachel demonstrated that DOB’s case failed to establish the owner’s liability pursuant to the applicable statutes.  All 4 violations were dismissed.  The appeal was granted based upon a finding that merely placing an advertisement, without proof that the apartment in question was actually occupied by a transient, was insufficient to show the building owner’s liability under the Code.  When the inspector visited the unit, he saw an occupant with a suitcase, but that turned out to be the tenant of record; no transient was found to be in occupancy.  Absent proof that the unit was actually occupied by a short-term transient, and with no finding that the tenant of record left the transient alone to occupy the apartment, the violations were dismissed.