Landlord accused of operating illegal hotel on Upper West Side

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Carolina Leid reports from the Upper West Side.

Tenants on the Upper West Side say they're angry that their landlord was renting out units to tourists, and so they did something about it.

"I've called 311 45 time since March so they're onto me," said Richard Amelia, a tenant.

Tenants at the Imperial Court building say the owner needs to stop running it as an illegal hotel on the Upper West Side.

Amelia moved in 12 years ago after getting one of the affordable housing units.

He was thrilled at first, until a few years later when he noticed hotel guests filtering through.

"During the school year I have to be up at 7 O'clock in the morning to go teach kindergarten. And you have someone stumbling at 3 O'clock in the morning and slammed her door and talk very loudly. That's what tourists do; they're not in the wrong. There just in the wrong building," Amelia said.

In May, the city hit the Imperial Court Hotel with a $65,000 fine for building code violations.

Council member Helen Rosenthal says the court found the hotel violates the multiple dwelling law by renting out units for less than 30 days.

"They don't care that the state has a law that the city has laws that requires buildings like this an SRO not to operate as a hotel," Councilwoman Rosenthal said.

Some long-term tenants defended the buildings management saying this wreaks of bad politics.

"What I do know is that this historically has been a hotel, it pays hotel taxes since the 1920s or 30s," said Jerome Lippman, a tenant.

The owner has been ordered to stop taking reservations while they work out a deal on what to do with existing reservations.

The building's owner could not be reached for comment.
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realestatehotelrental propertyrentersUpper West SideNew York City
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