George and Amal Clooney’s NYC apartment building cited for running illegal transient hotel
Amal Clooney may be a brilliant international lawyer, but she appears to have no clue she is staying in a shady Soho rental.
The glamorous human-rights jurist and hubby George Clooney are living in a Sullivan Street townhouse that has recently been hit with multiple violations for operating an illegal transient hotel, The Post has learned.
The red-brick federal-style building that boasts two luxury rentals is less than two blocks away from Vogue editor Anna Wintour’s home. Amal Clooney, 40, is Wintour’s pal, co-chair of next month’s swanky Met Gala and appears on the May cover of the magazine.
The London-based barrister is in the city for a stint as a guest professor at Columbia Law School and to help Wintour plan the annual fundraiser for the Metropolitan Museum’s Costume Institute.
Over the last week, Clooney has dazzled the paparazzi with an array of designer outfits as she leaves the townhouse, where a one-bedroom apartment was on the rental market for $9,000 a month, according to listings. Husband George also has been seen exiting the building.
But last month, the city slapped owner Richard Fertig with four violations for a basement apartment that was “illegally converted to transient use” without the required fire alarm, exits or certificate of occupancy.
The duplex ground-floor and basement apartment, which boasts a wine cellar and chef’s kitchen was raided by the city’s Buildings Department last month while musician John Legend and his model wife, Chrissy Teigen, were living in the building, according to press reports.
Legend and his pregnant wife, who is due in June, left the row house in haste last month after police and city officials entered the building. Teigen was wearing a bathrobe and slippers when she abruptly left.
An e-mail to Clooney’s assistant at Columbia University went unanswered last week, but a spokeswoman from onefinestay in London, which rents short-term lodgings on behalf of clients around the world, said the company “follows all local regulations.” She would not comment on whether the Clooneys were staying in the townhouse. On trips to the city in the past, the Clooneys have stayed at the swanky Carlyle Hotel.
Fertig, a former hedge-fund manager who describes himself in a YouTube video as a “serial entrepreneur” and an “Airbnb super host,” runs Short Term Rental University and provides online tips about how to maximize profits by renting out “rooms in your home” on vacation short-term stay sites. He said he has six luxury properties that he rents out on Airbnb and VRBO, according to a YouTube post.
City rules prohibit building owners from engaging in short-term rentals — for less than 30 days — unless they live on the premises. Fertig owns a home in the Hamptons in addition to the Sullivan Street townhouse, public records show.
A Department of Buildings hearing on the violations is scheduled for Thursday.
A spokesman for the mayor’s office said the city is carrying out “aggressive enforcement” against landlords who break the law.
“In many cases, guests are also victims of fraudulent marketing and are being illegally rented units that are not set up for short-term stays, which is potentially dangerous,” said Patrick Gallahue, a City Hall spokesman.
According to the city’s complaint, the basement apartment is “illegally converted . . . to transient use without required egress and fire alarm.”
Fertig, who has owned the Sullivan Street property since 2007, did not return requests for comment.
David Pressman, who represents the Clooneys, did not return a call for comment.
This article originally appeared in Page Six.