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T HE C OUNCIL OF T HE C ITY OF N EW Y ORK CITY

THE COUNCIL

OF

THE CITY OF NEW YORK

CITY HALL

NEW YORK, NY 10007

Mayor Bill de Blasio City Hall New York, New York 10007

Dear Mayor de Blasio:

We have spoken with Vinessa Milando from Ivy Terrace, a Bed and Breakfast (B&B) on East 58th Street that has been in business for sixteen years. Her business, and others like it, has encountered serious challenges as a result of the Illegal Hotels Law (Chapter 225 of 2010).

As you know, the law prohibits renting out residential apartments in buildings with three or more units for fewer than thirty days to transient visitors. As a result of enforcement of the law, several of these businesses have been forced to shut their doors due to high fines and an uncertain future. Others, like Ivy Terrace, have paid hefty fines and legal fees and have lost business. AirBnB, and websites like it, have dealt an additional blow by using the B&B name, providing substandard accommodations, offering lower prices, and not charging sales or hotel tax.

To us, it is clear that decades-old small businesses like Ivy Terrace were not the intended targets of this legislation. Ms. Milando represents a small group of traditional B&Bs called STAY-NYC, whose mission is simply to fix this oversight and continue to operate transparently, welcoming guests to New York City. Unlike the illegal hotels that the state law is targeting, these B&Bs have all registered with both the city and the state to collect and pay hotel and sales tax. They have been in business for over fifteen years, have an average of only five rooms, carry liability insurance as B&Bs, do not house permanent tenants, and are not in rent-regulated buildings. They run their operations professionally, have stand-alone websites, and belong to Innkeeping and other professional associations.

The struggle to address this situation has been going on for almost four years. Ms. Milando has met with members of the New York State Assembly, representatives of the New York City Department of Buildings, zoning attorneys, the prior administration, and, most recently with us. To date, the matter remains unresolved. More than nine of these tax-paying businesses have closed, and there may be fewer than five legitimate B&B’s open by year’s end. We are hopeful that your office can investigate the situation and consider what options may be available to the City to address this.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

Thank you for your attention to this matter. Sincerely, DANIEL R. GARODNICK Council Member MARK S.

DANIEL R. GARODNICK Council Member

Thank you for your attention to this matter. Sincerely, DANIEL R. GARODNICK Council Member MARK S.

MARK S. WEPRIN Council Member