Airbnb rentals land New York City tenant $185K fine

NEW YORK— A New York City artist is facing eviction and a $185,000 fine after renting out her rent-regulated loft to tourists on Airbnb.

The New York Post reports a judge ruled this week that a landlord could evict Eileen Hickey.

Landlord Robert Moskowitz says Hickey's rentals made $4,500 a month, triple what she pays. Moskowitz says Hickey violated state laws against short-term renting and profiting off rent-stabilized apartments.

Hickey says the Airbnb rentals spanned 85 nights over 10 months a few years ago. She says she needed money for her then-husband's medical bills and believed the rentals were legal.

The 72-year-old also owns a Manhattan condo, which says she uses it as an office.

San Francisco-based Airbnb said Friday it encourages tenants to consult their landlords before renting out their homes.

It is not just landlords, but also some renters who have been up in arms over Airbnb's presence in the Big Apple. Earlier this month, a report from the city's comptroller office showed New Yorkers are losing $616 million due to higher rents driven by Airbnb rentals.