Why I didn’t mind this letter from a lawyer.

I’ve learned to recognize ’em.

They come certified.  They are fat.  And they are never good.

Yep, I’m talking about a letter from a law firm.  And even though this one was giving me a scolding, I didn’t mind.

Here’s what happened.

Like most folks, I’ve been following the success of the sharing economy, and specifically Airbnb.  And even though I knew that my co-op board wouldn’t look too fondly on my renting my apartment out while I was away for Thanksgiving, I decided to post an ad for my place, mostly to see how the site worked . . . and if it rented, well, I’d decide what I wanted to do then.

The ad for my apartment wasn’t up for more than 24 hours when that fat, certified, and $1,000 letter arrived.  It had a copy of my posting, and even said my neighbors had noticed people coming and going with suitcases (that part made me laugh because I think they saw ME coming and going with a suitcase).

The letter told me I was in violation of 1,000 co-op rules, made all sorts of threats, and then got to the point.  “Please remove the ad immediately.”

So you know what I did?

I removed the ad immediately.

End of story.

While I’ve never believed that rules (especially laws) were meant to be broken, I do believe they were meant to be tested.  And if no one is going to get hurt, then it’s your job as a Producer of your show (or in this case, the Producer of your life) to push the boundaries of what’s allowable.  Producing theater ain’t brain surgery.  No one is going to live or die based on what we do.  That’s why you should always be looking to see where that line is drawn and when it’s ok to cross it, and when it isn’t.

Because more often than not, the worst thing that will happen is someone will tell you to stop doing whatever you’re doing.

Then you have to decide whether you want to listen to them.  🙂


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  • Kevin Lambert says:

    I’m glad that you don’t live in my co-op building.

  • Tom Hartman says:

    I’ve also learned that it’s better to do something and apologize (people will always let you off the hook for being “stupid”) than to not do something because you couldn’t get permission.

  • Alicia E says:

    I wish you lived in my co-op building, we’d be rebels together! Seriously Ken, I visit NYC every other month and always do Airbnb. Matter o’ fact I was there at Thanksgiving, wish I saw your ad before the lawyers. I have actor friends who go on tour or do cruises and let their Manhattan apt via Airbnb while they’re gone, nothing wrong with the long term rental/sublet. Except if you’re in a coop, I guess.

    BTW looking forward to “Daddy Long Legs” tomorrow. Break a Leg!

  • Joe Marino says:

    It’s easier to beg for forgiveness than ask for permission.

  • Martha says:

    Good for you. Push those boundaries. How do you what the rules are if you don’t break them?

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