Landlord hosting AirBnB from our rented house

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Landlord hosting AirBnB from our rented house

A year ago I moved into a rented house. When I moved in the landlord was
refurbishing the basement and since then has turned it into a mini apartment
this was then rented out and used as an airBnB. In our contract it states that
we rent the entire premises so shouldnt we be deciding who stays there and
getting the rent from it?

Asked on September 17, 2017 under Real Estate Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If you rented the entire house, the landlord may NOT do this--he only could if your lease did not include the basement. But if you rented the whole house, you, not him get to deterine who stays there, under what terms, for so long as you are tenants, subject only to any limitations or conditions in your lease. He is violating your lease by depriving you of space you are paying for. 
Such a breach of the lease could entitle you to go to court for either or both of: 1) monetary compensation (e.g. money back from the rent you'd paid equal in proportion equal to the amount of space you were paying for but deprived of [e.g. if the basement is 25% of the square footage, 25% of the rent back for the months you have not had access to]); 2) a court order that he cease doing this and restore you to access and possession of the unit.
You could also use this breach as grounds to terminate the lease early and move out, if you first provided him written notice to stop doing this and he failed to do so.
However, double check your lease first to make sure that the "premises" includes the basement. For example, say the basement unit has a different address--say the main house is 101 Main Street, but the basement is 101A Main Street. If the lease is for 101 Main Street, then you did not lease the basement and the landlord could do this.


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