USA

‘Wolf of Airbnb’ accused of running illegal rental out of NYC pad

A flashy wheeler-dealer who calls himself the “Wolf of Airbnb” has been finishing up an unlawful short-term rental scheme in a luxurious Midtown Manhattan condominium constructing, new court docket papers allege.

Konrad Bicher, 30 – who has been focused over related points in about 20 different circumstances – was slapped with the brand new Manhattan lawsuit for allegedly utilizing a 450 W. forty second St. rental unit to host unlawful stays by way of Airbnb and providing up the luxurious pad even on an hourly foundation for music movies and photograph shoots.

Bicher’s “modus operandi is to enter into leases for Manhattan residential flats or, as right here, worm his approach into occupancy, and run a sort of ‘bust-out’ operation,” in accordance with Monday’s supreme-court lawsuit searching for greater than $1.5 million.

Konrad Bicher was running an illegal short-term rental scheme from his luxury Manhattan condo building, according to court papers.
Konrad Bicher was working an unlawful short-term rental scheme from his luxurious Manhattan condominium constructing, in accordance with court docket papers.
Twitter/konrad_bicher
Bicher, 30, shares photos of himself on social media living a lavish lifestyle.
Bicher, 30, shares photographs of himself on social media dwelling a lavish life-style.
Twitter/konrad_bicher

“That features renting the house out as a revenue heart by way of Airbnb, Peerspace and different related platforms for short-term leases, failing to pay hire, utilizing the pandemic and legal guidelines associated thereto to delay any proceedings, and to vacate on the purpose of eviction,” the submitting alleges.

It’s towards the regulation in New York Metropolis to hire out a whole house for fewer than 30 days in such buildings.

Bicher has beforehand been accused of comparable claims within the different lawsuits, according to the Real Deal.

Requested why he calls himself the “Wolf of Airbnb,” Bicher responded in a textual content to the outlet, “The Wolf of Airbnb: It means somebody who’s hungry and ruthless sufficient to get on high of the monetary ladder. They evaluate the ferocity to that of a wolf, as a result of wolves are territorial, vicious and present no mercy when provoked.”

The MiMa Building is located on 450 West 42nd Street.
The MiMa Constructing is situated on 450 West forty second Road.
Astrid Stawiarz for The New York

Bicher’s social-media accounts have included photographs of him having fun with personal jets and unique locales, the outlet mentioned.

The newest go well with towards Bicher was filed by constructing landlord forty second and tenth Associates LLC. It says Haley Frey signed a lease for unit 43B beginning Could 19, 2019, however a couple of months later, in August, she added Bicher as an occupant on the house and that the pair began working unlawful short-term leases out of it.

In actual fact, Frey hasn’t even been within the forty second Road constructing for the reason that July 2019 move-in date, the go well with claims.

Beginning in November 2019, doormen on the constructing began noticing that company with suitcases and generally digicam gear had been repeatedly coming and going from the condominium – an incidence that saved up for the subsequent couple of years, court docket paperwork allege.

On Could 2, 2020, a visitor didn’t know the identify of the one that supposedly lived within the house and advised the doorman they had been staying there by way of Airbnb, the go well with says.

Fewer than two weeks later, an individual going to the house claimed to be Frey — regardless of the concierge noticing that they didn’t appear to be the photograph that was on file for the supposed resident, the lawsuit claims.

However the particular person headed to the elevator, claiming, “Konrad mentioned it’s OK,” the doc says.

Bicher referred to himself as the "Wolf of Airbnb."
Bicher referred to himself because the “Wolf of Airbnb.”
Twitter/konrad_bicher

One other time, on Sept. 3, 2020, somebody requested for the important thing to the unit and shortly after, 16 extra folks got here with digicam gear, the go well with claims.

Two extra folks visited in September, prompting the owner to find that Bicher had an inventory on Peerspace for a $97 hourly rental with a minimal of three hours — and that its 15 opinions included one by an individual who used the pad for a movie shoot, the lawsuit says.

“There was an ever-changing solid of strangers with baggage coming out and in of the house for short-term stays,” the submitting alleges. “Defendants would depart notices to constructing personnel that these short-term transients had been their ‘company,’ and would depart cloned copies of key fobs.”

Konrad Bicher on a motorcycle
Bicher has been focused in about 20 circumstances involving unlawful short-term leases.
Twitter/konrad_bicher

The constructing notified Frey that solely lease-holders may depart keys for company, prompting the defendant in an Aug. 5, 2021, e-mail to assert that Bicher was her husband, the go well with claims.

When constructing administration lastly despatched a cease-and-desist letter to Frey, she responded in a March 4, 2022 e-mail, “Can we work out a settle [sic] settlement to pay me to depart? In any other case, I’ll preserve the unit for years and litigate,” the lawsuit alleges.

The landlords are suing Frey and Bicher for $1.5 million plus a minimum of $10,000 in authorized charges.

In different circumstances, Bicher allegedly claimed he couldn’t afford hire when dealing with eviction proceedings, forcing to be placed on maintain all whereas he was allegedly granted pandemic reduction funds to the tune of $141,875, the go well with claims.

An Airbnb spokesperson confirmed that Bicher is not on the platform.

It was unclear if Bicher has a lawyer for Monday’s lawsuit. A lawyer who has repped him in his different circumstances didn’t return a Publish request for remark.

Working telephone numbers for Bicher and Frey couldn’t be discovered.

Show More

Related Articles

Back to top button