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Airbnb landlord agrees to pay San Francisco $ 2.25 million

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – A couple in San Francisco have agreed to pay $ 2.25 million to the city to…

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – A couple in San Francisco have agreed to pay $ 2.25 million to the city to illegally rent 14 apartments as Airbnb units.

City Attorney Dennis Herrera announced the decision on Monday and called the penalty a major deterrent to others trying to illegally benefit from the city’s housing crisis.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported that Darren and Valerie Lee agreed to pay the money as punishment and investigation costs. A lawyer for Lees, John C. Brown, did not respond immediately to a call that looked for a Monday.

The Lees was also blocked for at least seven years from offering short term rentals in any of the 1

7 San Francisco buildings they own or manage.

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San Francisco has struggled with tourist rentals in private homes and apartments since Airbnb was launched in the city.

San Francisco now has strict laws requiring people to rent homes through online websites like Airbnb and HomeAway / VRBO to stay in the unit for at least 275 nights a year and rent it no more than 90 days during that time.

The city first declared Lees in 2014 to postpone tenants, including a disabled person, from one of their properties to rent the space on Airbnb. The Lees decided that case for $ 276,000 and agreed on a ban on additional holiday homes in its 17 properties.

Herrera’s office said Lees ignored the ban and took “far-reaching, unpleasant” steps to pretend the apartments were rented to long-term tenants, including writing fake rents and pretending to be friends, family and employees were their tenants.

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Information from: San Francisco Chronicle, http://www.sfgate.com

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