Illegal Airbnb rentals cost couple dearly
SAN FRANCISCO — A San Francisco couple has agreed to pay $2.25 million to the city for illegally renting out 14 apartments as Airbnb units.
Darren and Valerie Lee were also barred for at least seven years from offering short-term rentals in any of the 17 San Francisco buildings they own or manage.
The city first sued the Lees in 2014 for evicting tenants from one of their properties to rent the spaces on Airbnb. The Lees agreed to an injunction against further vacation rentals in their 17 properties.
The city said the Lees ignored the injunction and took steps to pretend the apartments were being rented to long-term tenants, including drawing up fake leases for friends and family. San Francisco faces an acute shortage of affordable housing.