New York City loft-dweller fined $185K for tourist rentals

NEW YORK (AP) — 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 made $4,500 a month by renting her Manhattan loft to visitors at 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. She says she needed money for her then-husband medical bills and believed the rentals were legal.

The 72-year-old owns a condo elsewhere in Manhattan, but says she uses it as an office.

San Francisco-based Airbnb hasn’t immediately commented. It tells users to consult local laws.

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