Real estate agent fired over alleged short-term rental violation

  • The case of New York City-based agent Tatiana Cames shows agents who rent out short-term rentals are well-advised to make sure they comply with relevant regulation.

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Real estate agents often have the market knowledge and know-how to excel at renting out homes on a short-term basis, positioning them to take full advantage of sites such as Airbnb.

But the case of one agent suggests that before real estate professionals decide to do this, they should first make sure they’ve consulted relevant regulations, which are in flux across the country.

Tatiana Cames was reportedly sacked by her brokerage, New York City-based Compass, after word broke that she was facing penalties for allegedly violating a new New York City short-term rental law.

Compass declined to comment.

New York rental laws

New York City has long prohibited renting out units for less than 30 days unless guests share the unit with a full-time occupant.

But in effort to enforce this law, the city recently introduced fines for advertising illegal short-term units on sites such as Airbnb and HomeAway.

Cames was hit with five violations — each carrying a fine of $1,000 — for allegedly posting five separate Airbnb listings for a Brooklyn property she owns, the New York Post reported.

The agent appeared be renting out the apartments short term as she looked for long-term tenants, according to the Post.

Cames told Crain’s New York Business the units were legal and plans to hire an attorney to contest the fines.

Laws governing short-term rentals are in flux across the country, as city governments grapple with how to regulate the growing number of listings on Airbnb, HomeAway and VRBO and other sites that have popularized an alternative to hotels.

Email Teke Wiggin.