You are reading

Airbnb Suspends Bayside Squatters From Renting Rooms in Crime-Plagued House

State Sen. John Liu and Assembly Member Edward Braunstein called on Airbnb Friday to ban listings for a crime-plagued house at 208-16 38th Ave. in Bayside. They also asked the Department of Buildings to issue a vacate order (Photo courtesy of State Sen. John Liu’s office)

March 28, 2022 By Christian Murray

A rally held outside a Bayside house Friday calling on Airbnb to stop listing a property with problematic occupants has proved successful– with the company notifying elected officials that it has canceled all bookings.

Bayside residents and elected officials held a rally outside a house at 208-16 38th Ave. where there have been numerous complaints about squatters illegally renting it via Airbnb. The house has been a source of late night parties, excessive noise and confrontations with neighbors.

The officials called for Airbnb to ban the property from being listed and for the city to issue a vacate order on the home. The issue came to head following a shooting that took place outside the house during the early hours on Saturday, March 19, when shots were fired at a group of teens looking to park their vehicle on the way to a party at the house.

Multiple shots were fired, according to police, with one passenger in the vehicle struck in the torso and taken to hospital in stable condition. Meanwhile, another bullet went through a different vehicle piecing a child’s car seat.

State Sen. John Liu and Assemblyman Edward Braunstein held the rally, where they blasted Airbnb and the city for not clamping down on the squatters. They, along with Congresswoman Grace Meng, wrote a joint letter to Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky demanding that the company ban all listings pertaining to the house.

On Saturday, Meng said that she had been contacted by Airbnb and that the company said that it had canceled all bookings under the address and suspended the listing indefinitely.

“I appreciate Airbnb’s prompt response to my office and its willingness to remedy this situation,” Meng said in a statement. “I look forward to continuing my conversations with the company. As I’ve said, residents of this neighborhood must not have their safety put at risk and their quality of life disrupted, and State Sen. John Liu, Assemblyman Ed Braunstein and I will continue to keep up this fight.”

Braunstein was also thankful to Airbnb for taking steps.

The announcement came less than 24 hours after he had blasted the company for allowing the squatters to rent rooms.

“The pattern of disregard and disrespect shown by the individuals squatting at the single-family residence on 38th Avenue escalated to violence last week [March 19] when illegal Airbnb guests brazenly opened fire on the surrounding streets,” Braunstein said at the rally.

“Several times in the past, my office has worked with residents to get Airbnb listings at the property shut down, only for it to appear again under another account,” Braunstein added Friday, when he called for a permanent ban.

“I thank Airbnb for hearing the community’s concerns,” Braunstein said in a statement Saturday. “Moving forward, we will all continue to carefully monitor the activity at this address.”

Liu is also calling on the Dept. of Buildings to issue a vacate order on the house.

“There are several problems at this location that are preventing a satisfying resolution for our community,” Liu said Friday. “At the end of the day, the city needs to be the one to step up and recognize the dangers here as reason enough to vacate the premises and keep our community safe.”

Bayside residents and elected officials held a rally outside a house at 208-16 38th Ave. Friday (GMaps)

email the author: [email protected]
No comments yet

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Borough president hears from community members on budget needs throughout Queens

During a two-day public hearing on the mayor’s 2024 preliminary budget, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. listened to testimonies from 14 community board representatives, community stakeholders and members of the public on where the money should be spent in Queens. 

The public hearings were held both in-person and via Zoom on Monday, Jan. 30, and Tuesday, Jan. 31, at Queens Borough Hall. The testimonials will be used to develop the Queens Borough Board’s FY24 preliminary budget priorities in the coming weeks. 

‘He didn’t deserve to die’: Borough President Richards leads emotional candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards held a candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols outside Queens Borough Hall Monday, Jan. 30 after Nichols’ death at the hands of police officers in Memphis, Tenn., made national headlines for the brutality in which the officers beat him.

Almost immediately after news broke about Nichols’ death, the Memphis police officers who beat him to death were fired and charged with murder. The police department released the body cam footage of the fatal beating on Jan. 27, but many people, including some at the vigil, have refused to watch it due to its extremely graphic nature.

Queens Botanical Garden hosts Lunar New Year celebration with globally beloved Miffy

About 4,200 people joined the world-renowned beloved rabbit Miffy to ring in the Year of the Rabbit at Queens Botanical Garden’s Lunar New Year celebration on Saturday, Jan. 28. 

Queens Botanical Garden’s Lunar New Year celebration included a visit from Councilman Shekar Krishnan, who gave remarks, followed by a program of activities for all ages. Attendees enjoyed a lion dance performance, zodiac crafts, demonstrations, lucky plant sales and more. Miffy was in attendance for photos, story time and to greet children throughout the event.

Mets owner Steve Cohen hosts second community visioning session regarding development of area around Citi Field

Hundreds of community residents and leaders gathered at the Piazza Club inside Citi Field to participate in a visioning session regarding the development of a nearby 50-acre lot. This marked the second visioning session New York Mets owner Steve Cohen has hosted at Citi Field in January as he attempts to collect as much community feedback regarding the development as possible.

Attendees of the visioning session went to a series of interactive stations, sharing what mattered most to them when it came to improving the area around Citi Field, including preferred forms of year-round entertainment, ability to access different forms of transportation and attainable local jobs and training. Information and input was collected from the community in how they would like to see the lot utilized. A common theme among many of those who took part in the visioning session was the desire to see something built there that would bring a lot of economic opportunity to the community and provide year-round entertainment.

NewYork-Presbyterian Queens doctor aims to bring awareness to women’s heart health

With February marking the beginning of American Heart Month, a cardiologist from NewYork-Presbyterian Queens Hospital spoke with QNS about the importance of heart health for women.

According to attending cardiologist Dr. Joanna Troulakis, approximately 400,000 women die as a result of cardiovascular diseases each year in the United States. She noted that women have suffered more cardiovascular disease deaths than men in recent years. When it comes to heart attacks, the mortality rate for women is higher than men.

BP launches new advisory panel for youth to become civically engaged in the future of Queens

In an effort to get more young people involved in civics, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards has created a new advisory panel known as the Youth and Young Adult Council to introduce the “youngest and fiercest” community advocates to both community service and organization.

Members of the advisory body will advocate concerns through means of community engagement by participating in one of two cohorts. The first will be made up of high school representatives between the ages of 13 and 17, while the second cohort will be comprised of young adults between the ages of 18 and 25.

‘Where do we go now?’ Michaels set to close its doors in Fresh Meadows next month

The Michaels located at 187-04 Horace Harding Expwy. in Fresh Meadows will be permanently closing its doors on Feb. 23. The announcement that Michaels will be leaving the Fresh Meadows Shopping Center has led to an outpouring of reactions from many community members.

“We know this is disappointing to our customers in Queens, but we hope to continue to serve them at our other locations in New York City or online at Michaels.com,” a spokesperson for Michaels said in a statement to Patch.com.