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That Airbnb Host in Trump Tower Got Fined

Lena Yelagina, owner of an apartment in Trump Tower that was listed for rental on Airbnb until early this month, has received a summons from the city of New York seeking a $1,000 fine for illegally advertising the unit.

The fine, as reported by the New York Times, was levied under rules issued last year that ban not only short-term apartment rentals, but even the advertising of such opportunities. That rule hasn’t yet had its intended effect, as many full New York apartments are still listed on Airbnb.

Airbnb has faced similar resistance from municipal authorities in other markets. Restrictions on listings have been passed in San Francisco and Berlin, where some investors have dedicated apartments to act as Airbnb rentals full-time, theoretically raising rents for city residents.

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Yelagina’s listing first came to light when a New York Times reporter tried to book a stay there, after which the listing was removed. But there had apparently been several satisfied takers already, who got the opportunity to share a building with Donald Trump and his family at various stages in the election cycle. Some reviewers of the space reported hearing protestors on the street below.

The hearing on the matter is scheduled for May 4th.