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Home / Business / SF fines two landlords $ 2.25 million for illegal Airbnb rental – TechCrunch

SF fines two landlords $ 2.25 million for illegal Airbnb rental – TechCrunch



San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera puts the law – literally. Today, Herrera's office announced a $ 2.25 million settlement with two property owners in the city. Landlords, Darren and Valerie Lee, drove "an illegal hotel chain under San Francisco's housing crisis, instead of legalizing the units for homeowners," Herrera office wrote in a press release.

As part of today's settlement, Lees is not allowed to rent any of its units as short term rental until at least May 2025. The owners must also pay the city $ 2.25 million to cover the costs of the investigation and other penalties.

Herrera first sued the owners in April 201

4 after the two evicted tenants from their property and continued to use that property for short term rent. Les settled in May 2015 for $ 276,000, but then proceeded to violate a law enforcement injunction prohibiting them from continuing to offer their properties as short-term rental. As part of a two-year survey, Herrera found that Lees violated the order more than 5000 times in the first 11 months of the order. At that time, according to Herrera's office, Lees read more than $ 900,000 in short-term rent and earned a profit of $ 700,000.

It was only after this rash of later breach was revealed that Lees finally stopped its illegal conduct. To ensure that Lees did not keep its bad winnings – and to send someone else a message in line with this scheme – Herrera introduced a lawsuit to enforce the order in May 2018, which led to today's decision. The $ 2.25 million settlement will cover the cost of the survey and finance future consumer protection enforcement, including the city's short-term rental agreement.

As part of the City Act, San Francisco requires property owners to lease units for less than 30 days to register at the City's Short Term Rentals Office, as well as being permanent residents of this unit. However, Airbnb, did not take the new law well. In June 2016, Airbnb initiated a lawsuit against San Francisco, with a view to blocking the law from coming into force as of August. Fixed until May 2017, and Airbnb will settle its lawsuit with the city.

Settlement requires that Airbnb provide a monthly listing of all homes listed on Airbnb, along with information that allows San Francisco to verify that the device is registered. At that time there were only 2100 short-term rental hosts registered in San Francisco, but more than 8000 listed on Airbnb.

In the case of Lees, the city's law firm said none of the 14 units in the question ever registered with the city.

I've come to Airbnb and want to update this story if I hear back.


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