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A Woman Is Being Evicted and Fined $185,000 for Renting Her Apartment on Airbnb to Pay Medical Bills


Heard this story on the radio today:

A Woman Is Being Evicted and Fined $185,000 for Renting Her Apartment on Airbnb to Pay Medical Bills


Here is the original story, with more information:


Pro-AirBnB propaganda, still trying to keep the “make-ends-meet” myth alive.


It’s unfortunate for an elderly woman to be fined so much. However, if it’s against the law it doesn’t matter the reason you do it. If I steal food from a store to feed my starving children, it’s still stealing. I doubt she was ignorant of the law and decided to continue doing it. If that’s the case, then she has to face the consequences however steep or ridiculous they seem.


72 is hardly elderly :slight_smile:

This is a former museum curator who was illegally offering STRs on a rent subsidised apartment while already owning another place. (hardly a poor old lady).

Although the headline mentions she did it to pay hospital bills for her sick husband this isn’t mentioned at all in the copy.


I am not going to comment on this article’s contents, but this “myth” is reality for a lot of people. Glad that you are not part of the “make-ends-meet” group, but there are many who are.


Yep. Theft is theft. She knew it was wrong and chose to do it anyway.

My Great-great Grandfather’s uncle was transported from England to prison in Tasmania for literally stealing a loaf of bread for his family back in the 1840s.


In this case the woman was making £3000 a month profit through renting out her place illegally and also had another place which she owned.

I don’t think you can call that making ends meet.


If you have 3 million dollars in medical debt, it might just be.

Medical costs in this country are astronomical, and if your doctor prescribes a treatment or medication that isn’t on your insurer’s “list” the out of pocket costs can be significant. Once you are over 65, there is no compassionate use clause for drugs, so the rx companies are forbidden from offering discounted medication.


Perhaps, but there is nothing in the story that actually talks about the need to cover costs associated with her husbands medical care apart from the headline.

And she is a former curator at the Guggenheim, so I would be surprised if the couple didn’t have medical insurance.

Not sure why she didn’t rent out the condo she owns on the East side which she is currently using as an office, rather than the rent controlled apartment, which she knew she wasn’t allowed to sub let.

I obviously don’t know your medical system well, but thought there was free medical care for those unable to afford healthcare insurance or who don’t qualify for it.

I don’t doubt there are people who use Airbnb to help make ends meet, I am just not sure this is one of those cases.


I edited the post above to included a link to the original article, which has more information. She supposedly made $14,000 and was caught when her guests hung a banner advertising a party.

My in-laws used to take boarders in their rent subsidized NY apartment in the 1950s. Perhaps it was harder to get caught back then.


well, having a lodger in the spare room isn’t the end of the world, but letting the apartment out to ‘party people’ is a different matter


This post indicates just how little, actually.

Very few companies, particularly non-profits have any health insurance benefits once you no longer work for them. And, at the age of 65, the government program becomes your primary insurer whether you like it or not. But this program doesn’t cover any drugs and only covers 80% of “approved” medical treatments. You have to buy a supplement. In my state, this supplement policy can run from between $134 to $1200 per month. Obviously, the first one covers far less than the second. And then the supplement insurance will only cover drugs on it’s list. If your drugs change, and your new drug is not on the list, then it simply isn’t covered.

Oh, and it covers absolutely no long-term care at all.

There is no free medical care in this country. None. There are a few charities that might give you a $100 for gas money or provide two free house cleanings, but that is pretty much it. And once you hit 65, you no longer qualify for any discount programs by law.

If you present yourself to an ER without insurance, they are obligated to treat you, but they can require [and do] that you sign a form that states you will pay for your treatment. And they come after those that can’t fulfill this financial obligation.

I have no idea if this woman was “making ends meet” but it is really very possible. The Guggenheim has no pension, so she was living on $3000 a month, after paying her $1500 rent? In New York City? While paying off medical bills?


No the $3000 as I mentioned earlier was pure profit. She got $4500 in total from the income she generated through Airbnb on top of the money she earned from her artwork. Then there was her condo on the East side, which she used as an ‘office’ rather than renting it out.

Yes it sucks to have such a healthcare system that discriminates against the poor, the poorly paid and those unable to work.

When I stayed in the US there was means tested care through Medicaid and Medicare, I hadn’t realised they didn’t exist anymore.


@Helsi - They still exist.


If you are including medical care that is free at point of service, there’s Medicaid.

@Helsi it not only still exists, it’s been expanded.


Or “one of the lucky ones” as we refer to them in Australia.


I’m not sure in what society you live that a mother caught stealing food from a store to feed her starving children would be fined for breaking the law rather than let off with a warning and offered assistance. The law is there to serve the people, not the other way around.


Please don’t misunderstand me. I didn’t say fined. I just said it is breaking the law. I was merely trying to show an extreme example of someone knowingly breaking a law.


It serves the people, yep and that includes shopkeepers that can’t afford “shrinkage” and might not be mind-readers as to whether a common thief is a mother, has starving children, etc.

Most likely any hypothetical mother with starving children is on assistance, and her children are in fact fat and happy. Anyone stealing from a shop is more likely to be a compulsive thief.


Note that she owns a condo in the East Village which she uses as her “office.” In addition she either owns or rents in the Hamptons. Unfortunately draconian NY rent control is notorious for benefitting wealthy people as there is no means test to rent a rent controlled apartment. Many have one just to keep a place in the city. Sounds like she is one of those. Note also that she refused to turn over her financial records which would no doubt show that she wasn’t using the Airbnb money to "pay her ex-husband’s medical bills, but rather to rent a place in the Hamptons to be on the scene for the summer …or whatever.

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