The Q at Parkside

(for those for whom the Parkside Q is their hometrain)

News and Nonsense from the Brooklyn neighborhood of Lefferts and environs, or more specifically a neighborhood once known as Melrose Park. Sometimes called Lefferts Gardens. Or Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. Or PLG. Or North Flatbush. Or Caledonia (west of Ocean). Or West Pigtown. Across From Park Slope. Under Crown Heights. Near Drummer's Grove. The Side of the Park With the McDonalds. Jackie Robinson Town. Home of Lefferts Manor. West Wingate. Near Kings County Hospital. Or if you're coming from the airport in taxi, maybe just Flatbush is best.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Josh & Karen and AirBnB

Apologies to Joshua and Karen for questioning their validity and identity. As an eagle-eyed reader points out, not only were they the poster children for an AirBnB ad in the Times mentioning Lefferts Gardens, but today they're quoted in the Old Gray Lady herself:

But just as distressed over the skyrocketing cost of housing in the city were residents who said the money they made from renting spare bedrooms on Airbnb has become indispensable. Joshua Greenberg, 39, a freelance writer, said that housing costs had chased him from Manhattan to Carroll Gardens, to Crown Heights, and finally to Flatbush, Brooklyn, where he now lives with his wife, Karen Wight-Greenberg, and two young children.
I have to say that despite my populist leanings I'm really only in support of this being legal if you own your apartment or house. If you're a renter, I think you should get some sort of permission from the landlord, unless short-stay rentals are specifically allowed. I do NOT think landlords should be saving apartments for the purpose though. In a housing crisis, that's just nasty to withhold (probably stabilized) apartments. And while I got no problem with it legally, the same is true for people withholding their legal apartments from the market generally. Though in a private house, I don't think the City should be in the biz of telling you what to do.

Oh, and people should absolutely have to pay hotel tax. It's not fair to those who do.

And shouldn't Airbnb capitalize the b's? I found it difficult to pronounce and comprehend at first.



babs said...

Most co-ops explicitly prohibit this, and with good reason I think - I'd hate to have a constant parade of strangers camping out in my building, whether the owner was there or not. But what about condos? This couple lives in a condo; I really wonder how their neighbors feel about it. But, yeah, pretty sure they're not paying the hotel tax.

roxv said...

Josh and Karen are real, and the reason they were impossible to find was because saying their condo is in PLG is a bit of a stretch.

i recognize the building from my own apartment search--it's by the Church 2/5 stop.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

My layman's understanding about co-ops is that you don't own the apartment, but rather shares in the building. So it would seem obvious that you'd have to run stuff like this by the other shareholders.

Condos are different though, right? Are there areas of the building - stairwells, lobby, elevators, halls - that are commonly controlled, thereby allowing one to decide who can and can't enter the building and for what purpose?

babs said...

Condos do allow you to rent out your apartments (although they reserve the right of first refusal, meaning that if you wanted to rent it out to someone really objectionable, they could say no, but they'd then have to rent it themselves at whatever rent you were going to get - same with sales). However, I think that applies only to longer-term (beyond the 30-day limit) rentals, and shorter-term ones can still be prohibited.

But if the owners remain on premises and are just renting out a spare room I wonder what they can do to stop it.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

If it ain't drugs or prostitution, I say go for it. No loud parties. And pay the dang tax.

And if you're selling drugs or sex...we should tax that too.