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SF Airbnb crackdown snares Bernal Heights couple

Owners of a single-family in Bernal Heights that became the scene of a violent party will have to pay The City $185,000 as part of a settlement agreement for turning the single-family home into a two-unit building and renting out the units on Airbnb and HomeAway/VRBO websites.

Besides having to pay a penalty, owners Erik M. Rogers and his wife, Anshu Singh, are prohibited from renting the Bernal Heights home at 212 Banks St. for five years, according to the City Attorney’s Office.

The couple will have to forfeit the $160,000 made in profit from illegally renting out the home and pay an additional $25,000 penalty.

City Attorney Dennis Herrera said in a statement on Tuesday:

“This outcome preserves one more house to help a family stay in San Francisco, and it makes the neighborhood safer for everyone. San Francisco’s short-term rental laws exist for a reason — so that our homes aren’t turned into illegal hotels.”

During the City Attorney’s Office investigation, they found the owners had illegally rented out 212 Banks as a short-term rental for at least 487 nights between July 2016 and October 2017 while the couple had been living in Bali, Indonesia.

The Office of Short-Term Rentals had denied the couple a permit in November 2016 because the property was not their primary residency. Under the city law, a person registering a unit for short-term rental must reside there for at least 275 nights a year.

Last year, the property was the scene of a gunfight during party inside the home. The police collected more than 100 bullets and shell casings. The gunfight caused property damaged and injured one person.

Months later, a neighbor found the discarded firearm in his backyard and accidentally discharged the firearm, injuring his hand.

Supervisor Hillary Ronen, who represents the Bernal Heights neighborhood, said in a statement:

“For anyone thinking of disregarding San Francisco short-term rental regulations in the future, this judgment sends a clear message that we take these laws seriously and intend to enforce them to keep residential neighborhoods safe.”

Haight Airbnb

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