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SF Evictions Surging From Crackdown On Airbnb Rentals

samzenpus posted about 8 months ago | from the and-stay-out dept.

The Almighty Buck 319

JoeyRox (2711699) writes "The city of San Francisco is aggressively enforcing its ban on short-term rentals. SF resident Jeffrey Katz recently came home to an eviction notice posted on his door that read 'You are illegally using the premises as a tourist or transient unit.' According to Edward Singer, an attorney with Zacks & Freedman who filed the notice against Katz, 'Using an apartment for short-term rentals is a crime in San Francisco.' Apparently Airbnb isn't being very helpful to residents facing eviction. 'Unfortunately, we can't provide individual legal assistance or review lease agreements for our 500,000 hosts, but we do try to help inform people about these issues,' according to David Hantman, Airbnb head of global public policy. SF and Airbnb are working on a framework which might make Airbnb rentals legal, an effort helped by Airbnb's decision last week to start collecting the city's 14% hotel tax by summer."

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LOL (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46687573)

Phaggert's

Airbnb profiting on illegal activity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46687575)

Socialism for the rich, capitalism for the poor.

Re:Airbnb profiting on illegal activity (4, Insightful)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | about 8 months ago | (#46688347)

"Illegal activity" in this case, being that the little people aren't allowed to engage in free enterprise without greasing some palms.

Read your lease... (5, Insightful)

Kenja (541830) | about 8 months ago | (#46687585)

Do people really not read these things. No subletting is a common clause.

http://www.sfrb.org/index.aspx?page=1040

Re:Read your lease... (2)

Yebyen (59663) | about 8 months ago | (#46687637)

Not just that... even renters whose leases do not forbid sublet, or actual property owners, are not allowed to rent for terms less than 30 days because they likely have not obtained the permit. It's said that this permit is onerous or expensive to obtain and so "is usually ignored."

Re:Read your lease... (2, Informative)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about 8 months ago | (#46687821)

the context here is that rental rates in SF have skyrocketed in recent years, and if landlords can evict long-time tenants they can get the unit on the market for 4x rent. This sounds like predatory landlord practices. Hopefully the city will step in to stop this process.

Re:Read your lease... (4, Insightful)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | about 8 months ago | (#46687861)

Predatory _landlord_ practices? So SF implemented these draconian policies that force landlords to rent their property at a fraction of their actual value, essentially subsidizing the renters, and it's the _landlords_ who are being predatory?

Re:Read your lease... (3, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | about 8 months ago | (#46687867)

Maybe this it or not, but if people are subletting, then they are in violation of their lease. What do you want the city to do? strike down every no subletting contract?

Re:Read your lease... (1)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about 8 months ago | (#46688223)

One thing the city can do is clarify and place a cap on what it means to be "subletting". Renting out your place for a month or three on airbnb? subletting. having someone stay there over the weekend? not subletting. Also I get the feeling that landlords are just searching airbnb for listings rather than proving that subletting is actually happening. not a crime to list your apartment.

Re:Read your lease... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46687939)

What needs to be stopped are the outrageous "renter protection" laws in SF and allow the market to once again drive the cost of rent.

Hell no... (5, Interesting)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about 8 months ago | (#46688091)

the context here is that rental rates in SF have skyrocketed in recent years, and if landlords can evict long-time tenants they can get the unit on the market for 4x rent.

Irrelevant. You expect your landlord to uphold his end of the lease, why should he not expect you to uphold your end of lease.

This sounds like predatory landlord practices.

It sounds to me like landlords enforcing the rental agreement. The agreement is between the renter and the landlord, not some unknown unvetted third party.

I'm not sure I want to live in a building where other renters are sub renting to random people on a daily basis. Seriously, these people need to get a hotel room, and if they can't afford a hotel room, well, what could go wrong?

Re:Read your lease... (4, Informative)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | about 8 months ago | (#46687805)

It's banned by the city even if your lease allows it. It's so the city can collect its special 14% hotel tax.

Hotel tax??? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46687591)

What is the logic behind that?

Hotel tax = soak the non-voting visitors. (5, Insightful)

Firethorn (177587) | about 8 months ago | (#46687607)

It's the usual for tourist areas: You want to soak the tourists, who don't vote in your area, for as much tax money as you can. Thus the double-digit tax percentages on things that only tourists normally use, such as hotels.

Also restaurant taxes specifically aimed at sit-down places that 'tourists' normally visit more often, etc...

Re:Hotel tax = soak the non-voting visitors. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46687633)

No to mention international tourists are quite used to double digit taxes on most things.

Re:Hotel tax = soak the non-voting visitors. (3, Insightful)

hjf (703092) | about 8 months ago | (#46688329)

Nope. In most places, the usual is to tell the client the *FINAL* price, all taxes included. Discriminating sales tax is mostly a US thing only.

Here in Argentina it's illegal to tell a (final) client the price without VAT. For non-final clients (resellers for example), it's usually expressed as "Price (+VAT)", and rarely as "Price (VAT included)".

Re:Hotel tax = soak the non-voting visitors. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46687789)

Not just that: a lot of people will rent out their quiet little homes for venues during festivals, or have a property that's theoretically for long-term rental, but which mysteriously has different renters every weekend. This means a lot more traffic, new people always in the neighborhood, large surges in traffic and noise when special events happen, that sort of thing. In general, people just ignore zoning and create headaches for people who actually live in the neighborhood 100% of the time.

It's something we're really starting to have problems with in Austin, too. Unfortunately, since we're also a college town it's hard to develop legal language to crack down on homes-turned-venues and homes-turned-hotels without also hitting near-campus shared or multi-family housing.

And as a side note, in Austin we have no interest in soaking tourists: we'd be just as happy if you just stayed home. The W Hotel, Marriot, and city council may feel differently, but the residents would be happy to slide back into obscurity.

Re:Hotel tax = soak the non-voting visitors. (5, Insightful)

hawguy (1600213) | about 8 months ago | (#46687811)

It's the usual for tourist areas: You want to soak the tourists, who don't vote in your area, for as much tax money as you can. Thus the double-digit tax percentages on things that only tourists normally use, such as hotels.

Also restaurant taxes specifically aimed at sit-down places that 'tourists' normally visit more often, etc...

It's also to benefit the long-term residents. Living in a short-term rental facility (i.e. a hotel) is much different than living in an apartment building with long-term residents. The new guy who moves in down the hall is only going to have to ask you once where the recycle bins are and isn't going to continually dump his trash in those bins because he "didn't know" they were for recycling only, he's not going to come into the building at 1am with his loud talkative family and loads of luggage rolling down the halls, and likely has a 9-5 job just like you so he's probably not staying out late every night to take in the sights.

Well before AirBnb, I lived in an apartment building where one tenant rented his apartment out for short-term stays (and his tenants were guilty of all of the above) -- the long-term residents complained to the landlord and he put a stop to it.

Re:Hotel tax = soak the non-voting visitors. (2)

mythosaz (572040) | about 8 months ago | (#46688139)

The condo next to mine (conveniently located downtown next to the ballparks) rents short-term.

It's a never-ending parade of assclowns parking in the wrong covered spot, and every other sort of nuisance described by hawguy above.

I enjoy the idea of renting beds to people backpacking across the country.

I despise the idea of having the door next to mine being a rental.

Re:Hotel tax = soak the non-voting visitors. (1)

rsilvergun (571051) | about 8 months ago | (#46688473)

You also want to encourage businesses to build and maintain permanent housing for your residence so at least a few people can live without 4 hour daily commutes.

Re:Hotel tax??? (1)

istartedi (132515) | about 8 months ago | (#46687651)

What is the logic behind that?

Protection for the incumbent providers, sold as protection for the consumer

Typical pitch: don't rent from an unlicensed provider. There could be bedbugs or poor service, or it might be a fire trap or something.

Typical reality: You are lucky to escape alive with bed bugs and food poisoning when the licensed provider burns down.

Kinda funny this is what became of the original gold rush town, where anything went. Airbnb, lyft, etc... kinda like Napster and YouTube in meat space. They know their business model is an attack on the incumbents. Everybody is just shuffling the shit around, hoping they can shovel it onto somebody else and get out of town in time. OK... maybe it really is still a gold rush town on that level. Anyway, I'm not directly involved so I'll just pop the popcorn.

Re:Hotel tax??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46687835)

Sure the tax is important to the city, but I'm sure that the vast majority of the neighbors do not want an anonymous hostel running next door either. There is the probably reasonable assumption that this type of activity often comes with drugs, prostitution, etc.

Re:Hotel tax??? (1)

istartedi (132515) | about 8 months ago | (#46688057)

Drugs and prostitution happen in SF units regardless. Marijuana growing operations happen too. The motel tax and licensing does nothing to prevent those activities. It's already illegal to do that stuff. Airbnb just attracts more attention because it's the kind of thing that most people assume is OK. Many people naively think that we live in like... the land of the free or something, where you can use your property as you see fit as long as it doesn't harm the neighbor. Of course running a saloon or a baudy house would harm the neighbors; but my understanding of most Airbnb transactions is that it's like having your relatives or friends visit once in a while. I do that. My neighbors do that. Nobody minds. They could be doing Airbnb and I probably wouldn't even notice except to think they have a lot of friends.

Re:Hotel tax??? (1)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | about 8 months ago | (#46688279)

There is the probably reasonable assumption that this type of activity often comes with drugs, prostitution, etc.

Typically it's much more mundane stuff like tourists taking up parking spaces in the neighbourhood,

Re:Hotel tax??? (1)

lgw (121541) | about 8 months ago | (#46688461)

Typical reality: You are lucky to escape alive with bed bugs and food poisoning when the licensed provider burns down.

Unrealistic scenario, as burning the place down would actually fix the bedbug problem! And we know that won't happen.

Re:Hotel tax??? (1)

Kohath (38547) | about 8 months ago | (#46687769)

It's a tax. It's so some people can spend money without going to the trouble of earning it.

Re:Hotel tax??? (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 8 months ago | (#46687853)

It's a tax. It's so some people can spend money without going to the trouble of earning it.

It takes a lot of money to run a city. Several of California's larger cities are near bankrupt (yeah, yeah, don't honor contracts on retirement, blah, blah, blah) Keeping SFO afloat means the city is always looking for a way to stick it to people. One of these days Golden Gate Park will be crammed with parking meters (or those pay stations) The city is becoming less friendly to tourism. Why bother with festivals and stuff when you keep robbing visitors.

Re:Hotel tax??? (1)

Livius (318358) | about 8 months ago | (#46687787)

Many local governments invest in attracting tourists. Hotels benefit, so they should pay a share.

Re:Hotel tax??? (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | about 8 months ago | (#46688153)

You are the kind of person that thinks it ok to pay for parking in city/county parks. Instead of making sure its part of the commons, it has to generate revenue. Tourist taxes are plain robbery by the local government.

Re:Hotel tax??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46688219)

Yes, robbery. How dare they expect tourists, who use city resources but pay no state income or property taxes, pay for the share of the resources they are using. Clearly the residents should pay for all of it, and provide a haven for tourists out of the goodness of their hearts...

Re:Hotel tax??? (1)

khellendros1984 (792761) | about 8 months ago | (#46688635)

Tourists bring money from other economies into circulation in the local economy. Hotels are more expensive than residences, tourists are essentially forced into paying for restaurant food, and they pay at most attractions to see the sights. Property taxes are paid by the hotel that the tourists stay at. Presumably, the residents of the city also visit other places, where they don't pay income tax (being tourists, themselves). Things ought to balance out, in general.

Re:Hotel tax??? (1)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | about 8 months ago | (#46688215)

What is the logic behind that?

In the case of San Francisco, the hotel tax is used to fund the arts -

http://www.sfgfta.org/about/hi... [sfgfta.org]

Tourists don't vote, so you can fund the arts without annoying taxpayers who might not otherwise want to.

benevolent dictator. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46687593)

hey. kim jung il said you can't use your private property as you see fit. be glad the glorious leader allows you private property at all.

now pay up 14% for the pleasure of using your own property!

Re:benevolent dictator. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46687679)

you can't use your private property as you see fit

Damned liberals! Lets vote Republican so we can close all the porn shops and dildo stores instead!

Re:benevolent dictator. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46687713)

How would you feel about this if you were the owner of a SF hotel?

Re:benevolent dictator. (2)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | about 8 months ago | (#46687849)

I would feel threatened by the new competition and would do everything I can to crush them, including lobbying politicians to impose barriers to entry disguised as consumer protection measures. Pretty much standard operating procedure.

Re:benevolent dictator. (2)

hawguy (1600213) | about 8 months ago | (#46687823)

hey. kim jung il said you can't use your private property as you see fit. be glad the glorious leader allows you private property at all.

now pay up 14% for the pleasure of using your own property!

If you're renting it from your landlord, it's not "private property". If a landlord wants to go into the short-term rental business, he can follow the legal process to do so.

Re:benevolent dictator. (1)

JesseMcDonald (536341) | about 8 months ago | (#46687931)

If you're renting it from your landlord, it's not "private property".

It's still private property. It's just not your private property—it belongs to the landlord. You've just contracted to use it for a time.

Re:benevolent dictator. (2)

hawguy (1600213) | about 8 months ago | (#46688031)

If you're renting it from your landlord, it's not "private property".

It's still private property. It's just not your private property—it belongs to the landlord. You've just contracted to use it for a time.

Well yeah, I thought that part was obvious. You've contracted to live in it for a while, not sublet it, which is prohibited by most rental contracts.

Re:benevolent dictator. (1)

meerling (1487879) | about 8 months ago | (#46687879)

You don't own your property. Just fail to pay your property tax and see what happens.

Re:benevolent dictator. (1)

will_die (586523) | about 8 months ago | (#46687991)

After multiple warning, and then court proceeding it will be seized for failure to pay taxes and then sold. THe amount of money owned will be kept and the rest given to the previous owner.
If you don't own any land you will not have to worry about paying taxes on it.

Adventure holiday! (3, Interesting)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 8 months ago | (#46687601)

You can stay with a random SF resident.

Could be a furry, could be a militant lesbian. The only thing guaranteed, it won't be boring.

Re:Adventure holiday! (2)

ackthpt (218170) | about 8 months ago | (#46687621)

You can stay with a random SF resident.

Could be a furry, could be a militant lesbian. The only thing guaranteed, it won't be boring.

Yeah, you'll probably found your car has been towed by the city (even if it isn't there - this is a major source of tourism income)

Re:Adventure holiday! (2)

Arker (91948) | about 8 months ago | (#46688103)

"Yeah, you'll probably found your car has been towed by the city (even if it isn't there - this is a major source of tourism income)"

OK my mind is blown.

Please explain to me how SF can make money by towing the car that I left behind in my home state?

The fees would have to be quite outrageous just to cover their gas!

Re:Adventure holiday! (1)

OzPeter (195038) | about 8 months ago | (#46687659)

Re:Adventure holiday! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46687791)

Wow. What a prude...

Re:Adventure holiday! (2)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about 8 months ago | (#46688489)

could be a furry

What's wrong with that? I'm not a furry as it happens, but I don't quite understand why they seem to be the whipping boys if the internet. It's not like they're Republicans or aything...

I guess they don't want tourists (1, Insightful)

rossdee (243626) | about 8 months ago | (#46687627)

"'You are illegally using the premises as a tourist"

Tourism is illegal in SF now huh?

Re:I guess they don't want tourists (2)

Shatrat (855151) | about 8 months ago | (#46687653)

Like Al Capone, the real crime is not paying taxes.

Re:I guess they don't want tourists (2, Insightful)

ganjadude (952775) | about 8 months ago | (#46687667)

unless you are from mexico, than its just called "enjoying the dream"

Re:I guess they don't want tourists (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46687801)

That joke is, like, bad, dude, and just sounds like you're being racist, man.

Re:I guess they don't want tourists (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46687887)

Alas, there is no such race as "Mexican" so no he is not being "racist".

Re:I guess they don't want tourists (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 8 months ago | (#46687911)

Because pointing out racist liberal hypocrisy is racist?

Re:I guess they don't want tourists (2)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | about 8 months ago | (#46688019)

You must be new here. On slashdot, being against H-1B skilled immigrants is not racist, but being against unlimited low skill immigration is because they don't compete for the same jobs.

Re:I guess they don't want tourists (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46688189)

You must be new here. On slashdot, being against H-1B skilled immigrants is not racist, but being against unlimited low skill immigration is because they don't compete for the same jobs.

Or maybe its because H-1B skilled immigrants keep the American economy competitive, which in turn creates more jobs for everyone.

Re:I guess they don't want tourists (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46687705)

No, they just don't like apartments being rented out to tourists without collecting tourism taxes.

Re:I guess they don't want tourists (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46687807)

"It's about time!" -old man

Re:I guess they don't want tourists (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46687927)

...as a (tourist || transient) unit

Re:I guess they don't want tourists (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about 8 months ago | (#46687929)

"'You are illegally using the premises as a tourist"

Tourism is illegal in SF now huh?

It's not the Tourists that are renting the units that are in violation of the lease clauses and short-term rental laws, it's the tenants that are renting them out that are responsible.

Re:I guess they don't want tourists (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46688557)

Didn't you hear about the war on tourism which George Bush started?

Also Oakland (1)

Princeofcups (150855) | about 8 months ago | (#46687671)

A friend of mine got a similar notice in Oakland last year. Shut down or be evicted. It's a shame. She provided a better place to stay than any reasonably priced hotel.

Re:Also Oakland (1)

OzPeter (195038) | about 8 months ago | (#46687695)

A friend of mine got a similar notice in Oakland last year. Shut down or be evicted. It's a shame. She provided a better place to stay than any reasonably priced hotel.

So how was her insurance coverage for the guests? Or to protect herself if someone sued her?

Better? Maybe. Riskier? .. Definitely.

Re:Also Oakland (1)

sycodon (149926) | about 8 months ago | (#46687773)

That's pretty much her problem, isn't it?

But, the State knows much better than the citizen I guess.

Re:Also Oakland (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 8 months ago | (#46687909)

Another case of people making money by skirting rules and regulation that everyone else in the industry abides by.

JSYK: Hotel guests and tenants have different rights. So to anyone doing this sort of thing with a resident should be wary, you could get a guest you refuses to leave and you will need to go through the tenet eviction process as opposed to the hotel eviction process.

Re:Also Oakland (1)

OzPeter (195038) | about 8 months ago | (#46687977)

That's pretty much her problem, isn't it?

But, the State knows much better than the citizen I guess.

If you're going to run a business (which it sounds like she basically was) it behooves you to protect yourself - regardless if you are flying above or below the radar. Anything else is being foolish.

Re:Also Oakland (2)

hawguy (1600213) | about 8 months ago | (#46687983)

That's pretty much her problem, isn't it?

But, the State knows much better than the citizen I guess.

Well no, it's the problem of the person renting the unit when they find out that after some incident happens that the person that rented them the place has no liability insurance and no assets to recover damages from. A short-term renter shouldn't have to do a full background check and insurance coverage check before they rent a place for the night -- that's why we have consumer protection laws like required liability insurance for commercial establishments. The same thing should apply to ride-share services, patrons of such services should be able to rely on the drivers having adequate insurance to cover them in an accident.

Re:Also Oakland (1)

yakovlev (210738) | about 8 months ago | (#46688025)

NOT the same thing.

I have no problem with "Shut down or be evicted." If it's illegal or against your lease agreement then it's perfectly reasonable to tell you to cut it out.

What I have a problem with is SF evicting without a cease-and-desist. This is going straight to the punishment stage without the request to stop something that many may not realize is illegal. I suspect that the landlord getting to up rental rates when a tenant moves out may have a lot to do with this excessive behavior.

Completely wrong summary (5, Informative)

donutman (966616) | about 8 months ago | (#46687693)

The city of SF is not enforcing anything - it's the landlords. In SF, most units are covered by rent control, meaning most people are paying rents far below the market value. Landlord are prohibited from increasing rents or kicking out current tenets unless they violate their lease. So any lease violation, such as subleasing, can be used as an excuse to evict the tenet and get one that will pay the current market value.

Re:Completely wrong summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46687735)

Most people are paying rents far below the market value

Sounds paradoxical. What's the definition of "market value"?

Re:Completely wrong summary (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46687819)

The (greatest) amount someone is willing to pay.

So a property that is rent controlled may be currently rented for less than market value (the price someone else would be willing to pay for it) due to the control. In fact, that is the purpose of the control, to keep the price below market value.

Re:Completely wrong summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46687855)

Probably the rents that landlords are able to charge for similar apartments when not bound by rent control, i.e. for new tenants.

Re:Completely wrong summary (2)

hawguy (1600213) | about 8 months ago | (#46687873)

Most people are paying rents far below the market value

Sounds paradoxical. What's the definition of "market value"?

Market value is whatever price people are willing to pay -- somewhere around $3000 for a one bedroom apartment in a decent area of SF. Long-term tenants with Rent control are paying far below that. When I moved out of SF 5 years ago, I was paying around $1000/month for a one bedroom, if I'd kept it, I'd probably be paying $1100 for it now, while new residents would be paying far more.

Re:Completely wrong summary (1)

Deadstick (535032) | about 8 months ago | (#46687899)

It's the amount a willing buyer and a willing seller will agree on if neither is under any external constraint (such as rent controls).

Re:Completely wrong summary (1)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | about 8 months ago | (#46688481)

It's the amount a willing buyer and a willing seller will agree on if neither is under any external constraint (such as rent controls).

There is no such thing as "if neither is under any external constraint".

The very nature of "property" is that it is an external constraint created and enforced by the state. It's the state saying to the "owner", "Here is a piece of paper that says you own this thing. If anyone uses it without your consent, we will send men with guns to stop them," thus placing a constraint on everyone else.

Re:Completely wrong summary (5, Informative)

JoeyRox (2711699) | about 8 months ago | (#46687753)

From the article:

"People who rent out space on Airbnb, VRBO and other markets for temporary housing are facing fines by the City Planning Department and eviction on the grounds of illegally operating hotels."

Re:Completely wrong summary (4, Informative)

DRJlaw (946416) | about 8 months ago | (#46687967)

There's a difference between:

"People who rent out space on Airbnb, VRBO and other markets for temporary housing are facing fines by the City Planning Department and eviction on the grounds of illegally operating hotels."

and

"People who rent out space on Airbnb, VRBO and other markets for temporary housing are facing fines and eviction by the City Planning Department on the grounds of illegally operating hotels."

Can you spot it?

You should also read this article [sfaa.org] analyzing the issue from an owner's perspective. You'll note that it doesn't suggest that the San Francisco has the ability to evict the tenant... merely to fine the landlord.

Finally, the actual code [archive.org] (warning: very large text document) lists several penalties, none of which include eviction. You're looking for Section 41A.5, "Unlawful Conversion," page 3902.

Re:Completely wrong summary (1)

jratcliffe (208809) | about 8 months ago | (#46688133)

OK, so if you want to be specific, landlords are threatening to evict tenants as a result of the fines being imposed on the landlords as a result of the tenants' behavior.

Re:Completely wrong summary (1)

JoeyRox (2711699) | about 8 months ago | (#46688367)

Exactly. And even more specifically, when it comes time to evict someone who refuses to leave, the city would enforce that as well via the sheriff's department.

Re:Completely wrong summary (1)

JoeyRox (2711699) | about 8 months ago | (#46688641)

Yes, and nothing in the summary suggested that the city of SF is the party performing the convictions. In fact, the summary specifically stated the contrary:

SF resident Jeffrey Katz recently came home to an eviction notice posted on his door that read 'You are illegally using the premises as a tourist or transient unit.' According to Edward Singer, an attorney with Zacks & Freedman who filed the notice against Katz, 'Using an apartment for short-term rentals is a crime in San Francisco.'

Re:Completely wrong summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46688109)

And how do you think the CPD is finding out about these illegal sublets?

Re:Completely wrong summary (1)

DRJlaw (946416) | about 8 months ago | (#46688193)

From the article:

"People who rent out space on Airbnb, VRBO and other markets for temporary housing are facing fines by the City Planning Department and eviction on the grounds of illegally operating hotels."

BTW: I realize that the GP said that the City of San Fancisco was not enforcing "anything" and that you're correctly rebutting that. However, the substance of GP's post concerned the evictions, not the fines.

The article reads as if landlords are jumping the city's process, particularly since there's no mention of actual fines. You should note that the code in my other response requires the city to provide an owner with a reasonable period of time to correct the violation before they becomes liable for a fine.

Re:Completely wrong summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46688163)

And for an awful lot of people, the rate they are willing to pay is their "rent control" rate. This stuff swings both ways. The land lords realize that the rate they need to let it out at is now higher due to the chance the tenant sits there for a few decades. But if the rent control was gone tomorrow, it is not at all true that the "market value" stays where it is at today.

Re:Completely wrong summary (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 8 months ago | (#46688241)

Rent control reduces the supply of available apartments. So yes, without rent control those who don't get a rent controlled apartment will save money.

Re:Completely wrong summary (1)

SpankiMonki (3493987) | about 8 months ago | (#46688427)

In SF, most units are covered by rent control, meaning most people are paying rents far below the market value. Landlord are prohibited from increasing rents or kicking out current tenets unless they violate their lease.

Not quite. Generally, any building built in SF after June 1979 is not subject to rent control. And landlords can in fact raise rents on tenants without a lease violation - they can raise rents once a year (at a rate tied to inflation). Additionally, landlords can also pass on certain capital improvement and operations/maintenance costs to tenants in rent controlled units.

Of course, if a tenant moves out, a landlord may then charge market value rent to the new tenant.

Horse hockey (4, Insightful)

jratcliffe (208809) | about 8 months ago | (#46687727)

"'Unfortunately, we can't provide individual legal assistance or review lease agreements for our 500,000 hosts, but we do try to help inform people about these issues,'

Bullcrap. If they wanted to actually ensure that their rentals were legal, they could do vastly more to ensure that. In NYC, for example, any whole unit rental (where the lessor isn't going to be there as well) of 30 days is illegal if the unit isn't a licensed hotel. If you try to post a property for a non-roommate rental in NYC, they could have the site simply say "Is this unit a licensed hotel? If not, then the rental would violate NYC law. Please confirm that the unit is a licensed hotel unit. Yes/No"

They don't even bother with this level of fig leaf.

Re:Horse hockey (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 8 months ago | (#46687755)

Not their job to enforce laws.

If they aren't doing anything illegal, it's all good. If their hosts can get away with it, it's all good.

Rules were made to be broken.

Re:Horse hockey (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46688227)

Because that level of a fig leaf isn't scalable. Taking the burden of knowing every city's laws would be prohibitively expensive. Leaving that burden on the owner of the unit (who only needs to know the law in one city) makes much more sense.

Re:Horse hockey (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46688339)

I'm certain there is a lawyer somewhere in the world that knows all appropriate leasing laws for every city across the entire planet. Somewhere...

I'm also certain there's only one of them. Because who the hell else would need to know all of that?

Eviction? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46687751)

What if you owned the condo or house? Does the city buy it from you in an eviction, or are you just out your 1 million dollars + you payed for a sanfransico house.

Sure they can evict you from a rented apartment, but something you own? You dont like your neighbour who has a friend crash on their couch, suddenly you can call the city and have his house repossessed?

That shit aint right.

Re:Eviction? (2)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | about 8 months ago | (#46688129)

No, they aren't evicting you if you own it, that would be where fines or other sanctions come into play.

Good way for landlords being ripped off by rent controls to evict renters, though. I like it!

Cripes! Another crappy summary! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46687817)

Would it kill the submitter to put in one sentence that says what Airbnb is??? And yes, I know I can fucking google it, but what is the point of a summary if you are requiring the reader to expend effort by browsing around just to figure out if the story is worth reading?

Typical SF (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46687905)

It's nice that SF is keeping up the vibrant tradition of keeping those poors out of town.

Cause.... (1)

PortHaven (242123) | about 8 months ago | (#46687969)

These are the criminals our police and lawyers need to be expending time against.

AirBnB ( Score: +5, Seditious ) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46687993)

  for Air_Heads.

Government is a parasite (1)

concealment (2447304) | about 8 months ago | (#46688043)

We don't need protecting from ourselves. We do not need a hotel tax. In fact, we don't need any taxes except sales tax. But as soon as it is allowed to collect taxes, government invents new reasons to tax. That's because government is in business for itself. We're just the suckers who pay for it

and this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46688169)

Is why i dont sublet my condos on airbnb, despite many who are risking it

Fascists (1)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | about 8 months ago | (#46688333)

SF and Airbnb are working on a framework which might make Airbnb rentals legal, an effort helped by Airbnb's decision last week to start collecting the city's 14% hotel tax by summer.

This is what we used to call corruption. Or, before that, "tribute to the king."

These kinds of laws exist all over... (2)

Virtucon (127420) | about 8 months ago | (#46688403)

San Francisco isn't the first city to do this, Paris [nytimes.com] for example has had a similar law for years but only until 2010 started enforcing it. It's meant to drive tourism to Hotels for all the tax base benefits and to address the problem of affordable housing. AirBNB is a great idea but like Uber is allowing some cities to start abusing their citizens by preventing them from doing legal commerce that they can't control or tax.

San Francisco is no longer an option for we peons (1, Interesting)

Catbeller (118204) | about 8 months ago | (#46688565)

Really. Can't rent an apartment there, can't rent a hotel room there, can't breath the air there without a trust fund. Godz forbid we should find a way not to pay the rapacious owners of San Francisco even more money. No, this is not the way the free market goes, Rand Fans. This market will never be "free". It's monopoly of space. Space is limited. There's too much money in the city. Prices go up. Eventually the place is full of empty apartments owned by capital funds and by Saudi and Colombian investors, as London has shown us. Free for whom? No the people who live there, damn it. They're peons now.

Capital funds are now rolling up the apartments into securities now, and selling them on Wall Street as investments. Of course, surrounded by derivative bets. No chance of a crash there, eventually. And the complaints of a reduction if not elimination of maintenance are of course rolling in, 'cause that's what an unfree market does: charge you more for less and less.

Don't care about the laws. Laws are bought by the owners of the city, and we duck around them as best we can. If you are rich enough, you ignore the laws and pay the fines if they catch you. Or just buy a new law, just for you. The law is a joke. Contracts are a joke. We have no power to negotiate a better deal, so the hell with it.

Don't see an end to the hoovering up of the peon army's piggy banks any time soon. Students now owe a trillion dollars in student loans that most can never repay in their lifetimes, and additionally they'll have to live in cars or trucks when the rentiers start enforcing the limits on the number of people living in a single unit. Don't want those poor people in your neighborhood. And "poor" is a relative term. The middle class are starting to understand that they are the new "poor" now, in some places.

Where the hell are people gonna live? This is amusing. SF might become a true Randian paradise. A lost cause for 95+ per cent of the population. New York used to have rent control, and that might have saved SF from the upcoming years of rage; but "free" markets are the rule now. Let's see what happens. Vomit on the buses? That's the beginning. We're replaying the 1930's. Gonna have to start getting those private security forces, rich people. (Odd thing: if you've money, you tell your private police what to do. If you don't have capital, public police tell *you* what to do)

End result, less money from tourists, visitors and job seekers looking for a place to crash while finding their bearings. The rentiers don't care; they're rich anyway. Also, the people paying 4000 - FOUR THOUSAND DOLLARS A MONTH for their two bedroom can't make a little cash back. They can't buy the appropriate laws. Shrug. Lost cause here.

Sad to see Republicans fuck over... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46688627)

the people of SF. I know how much those people irrationally hate rent controls and have for decades tried to find a way to help the wealthy property owners in that city screw over then tenants. They finally found a tactic that works. Just like and accuse the renter of being an Air BnB fan, and the city cops will fuck them and throw then in the street. Yeah for the Republicans. They actually got a rare win in SF.

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