Airbnb is a novel, potentially income-saving measure for people who need to squeeze some extra cash from their homes. And then there are Airbnb users like Eileen Hickey-Hulme, who allegedly rented out her Tribeca pad for triple what she was paying while hanging in the Hamptons.
Hickey-Hulme, whose painting career has landed her a following among collectors in Manhattan and East Hampton, is not exactly the humble spokesperson Airbnb pitches in its astroturf campaigns, the New York Daily News reports:
In an interview four years ago, Hickey-Hulme said she already spends much of her time in the Hamptons.
"Being close to the marina where my boat resides is very important to me," she said in an "Artists Among Us" profile done by Hamptons.com. "I have my own little studio there where I can do my work. I am also a very active athletic person, so being close to the beach where I can surf, run, bike, and hike outdoors is a must for me."
This isn't exactly the rhetoric Airbnb employs in its defense, citing users who make ends meet by renting a spare room or basement. Which is also true! But not in this case: Hickey-Hulme allegedly exploited her apartment's rent-stabilized status to charge "$250 per night, $1,750 per week or $4,500 per month for a space that she rents for $1,463.79 a month." Serving as a remote landlord of a luxury flophouse isn't exactly what Airbnb is all about. Or maybe it's exactly what Airbnb is all about—we don't know. But let's not worry too much: if Hickey-Hulme is indeed evicted, at least she'll still have her boat.