SRO hotel rentals must last at least one month, judges say

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The city’s 300 single-occupancy hotels were hit hard Thursday, when a panel of Manhattan appeals judges ruled that rooms must be rented for a minimum of one month.

The 227-room Imperial Court Hotel, an SRO on West 79th Street, had argued that it had the right to continue offering week-long rentals after the city tightened its multiple-unit law in 2010.

The move hurts SROs and residents who can’t afford to pay a month’s rent all at once, Imperial attorney Charles Chehebar said.

“It really affects a lot of families and others, including tourists and people living paycheck to paycheck, or people who are unlucky and need a place to stay for a week. or two, “Chehebar told the Post.

But city and tenant advocates have countered that SROs are only trying to hunt long-term tenants, who pay as little as $ 400 a month for rooms with shared kitchens and bathrooms.

“This is really about depriving New Yorkers of permanent housing,” said Marty Weithman, supervising attorney for MFY Legal Services, who filed an amicus brief on behalf of long-term SRO tenants.

“Many SROs take advantage of residents by failing to tell them about their rights,” Weithman said. “You can become a rent-stabilized tenant by living in an SRO continuously for six months or by applying for a lease any time after your first listing,” Weithman said.

“But owners make more money by billing by the night or by the week,” she said.

Chehebar said he would likely try to appeal the decision.

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