Airbnb Hostess Who Earned $61,000 in 9 Months Now Faces Eviction, Judge Rules

The battle against Airbnb in New York City rages onward.

learn more about Geoff Weiss

By Geoff Weiss • Dec 26, 2014

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Noelle Penraat is a prime exemplar of the money-making prospects currently available via Airbnb: the 62-year-old New York native made $61,000 off of her sprawling Upper West Side duplex in just nine months.

But now, like many of the home-sharing startup's most entrepreneurial hosts, Penraat is weathering a regulatory onslaught. A New York City judge ruled earlier this week that she must stop renting out rooms in the apartment immediately, and that her landlord has grounds to evict her, according to the New York Post.

That's because Penraat "has been profiteering from a rent-controlled apartment partially subsidized by another government program," wrote Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Carol Edmead in her injunction. (Because she makes less than $50,000 per year, the Senior Citizen Rent Increase Program exempts Penraat from any rent increases.)

Related: Good News for Airbnb Hosts and Uber Drivers: Here Comes Insurance

And like countless other New York City residents, Penraat's neighbors have also taken umbrage with her revolving door. One submitted to the court that the "constant barrage of strangers" left him fearing for the safety of his family. Penraat's building also contains a Montessori school attended by 175 children, according to the Post.

Penraat, who has hosted 135 guests since February 2012 and could have earned as much as $118,300 on an annual basis, argued that there was nothing illegal about renting three of the apartment's four bedrooms to "roommates," reports Law360. But Edmead shot her down.

In New York, the battle against Airbnb is highly fraught. Earlier this year, Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman released a scathing report claiming that 72 percent of all rentals in the city are illegal. And unlike other major U.S. cities like San Francisco -- where Airbnb rentals are slated to become legal in February -- Penraat's case seems to suggest that New York City regulators aren't willing to back down.

Related: This Anti-Luxe Lodging Startup Will Put You Up in a Half-Built Treehouse For $19

Geoff Weiss

Former Staff Writer

Geoff Weiss is a former staff writer at Entrepreneur.com.

Related Topics

Editor's Pick

Have More Responsibilities at Work, But No Pay Bump? Use This Script to Get the Raise You Deserve.
Black and Asian Founders Face Opposition at All Levels — Here's Why That Has to Change
Business News

Frontier Airlines Just Announced Its All-You-Can-Fly Summer Pass for $399. What's the Catch?

As travel begins to pick up, the airline hopes unlimited travel will jumpstart its business.

Business News

Mark Cuban's Grocery Store Hack Will Help You Score Cheaper Produce

The billionaire talked about his early days in Dallas when he was strapped for cash.

Thought Leaders

5 Small Daily Habits Self-Made Millionaires Use to Grow Their Wealth

We've all seen what self-made millionaires look like on TV, but it's a lot more subtle than that. Brian Tracy researched what small daily habits these successful entrepreneurs adopted on their journey from rags to riches.

Business News

VP Exposes Vendor's Leaked Sexist Conversation, Earns Praise From Barbara Corcoran and Thousands of Others

Whitney Sharpe was on a call with a potential vendor when a screenshot of an inappropriate Slack conversation was accidentally shared with her.