Local journalists starting to catch onto Airbnb's subversion of SF's rental market

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Our 8/6/13 cover story, "Into Thin Air," documented Airbnb's impacts on San Francisco.
Brooke Robertson

Airbnb and other so-called “shared housing” sites allow hundreds of rent-controlled apartments in San Francisco to be essentially removed from the housing market, part of a concern that has caught populist fire recently with protesters and politicians pledging to do something about evictions and displacement.

Yet I’ve been one of the few local journalists to hound Airbnb over its illegal business model and refusal to pay nearly $2 million per year in transient occupancy taxes that it owes the city. But that may be beginning to change, as pair of mainstream local publications in the last week have cautiously waded into what outside journalists from Time magazine (which specifically mentioned my reporting on the issue) to German public television have already seen as a big and important issue.

The San Francisco Chronicle today has a story about a lawsuit from a tenant subjected to an owner-move-in eviction, with said owners then turning around to rent units in the building out through Airbnb. And San Francisco Magazine also mentioned Airbnb in its controversial article criticizing concerns over evictions.

“Isn’t it far more likely that more units are being lost [from the rental market] through Airbnb?” the magazine quoted a UC Berkeley professor as saying, comparing Airbnb to Ellis Act evictions. Hey, SF Mag, don’t you think that’s a good question that might be worth exploring?

Janan New, executive director of the San Francisco Apartment Association, told me this week that she found 1,100 rent-controlled San Francisco apartments listed on Airbnb — almost all of it in violation of local tenant and zoning laws — a fact that she personally conveyed to Mayor Ed Lee, who supports Airbnb, shares a funding source with the company (venture capitalist Ron Conway), and has been dismissive of the issue.

“They need to enforce the law like they do in New York City,” New told us, referring to a city that has cracked down on Airbnb’s subversion of its rent control laws. She’s lobbied City Hall, documented the problem, and threatened to sue the city: “I’ve done everything I can possibly think of.”

Meanwhile, Board of Supervisors President David Chiu has been negotiating with Airbnb for almost a year on legislation that would attempt to legalize and regulate its activities here in San Francisco, telling us “it has been difficult to corral the different stakeholders to get on the same page” and no longer offering any predictions when it might be complete.

I was already working on a story about Airbnb (which still won’t respond to my inquiries) for our next issue [UPDATE: It looks like I'll hold that story for our Feb. 5 issue], so I’ll have more to say about this then. And in the meantime, here’s my latest message to the Mayor’s Office of Communications trying to get some kind of response to this issue, which it has ignored for the last 24 hours:

“I'm about to write about the rampant illegal behavior by Airbnb customers again, which seems increasingly relevant to the "affordability agenda" that Mayor Lee is touting, so I wanted to check in to see whether the mayor is still offering his unqualified support to this company, despite its violations of local housing, zoning, and planning laws and refusal to collect and pay the transient occupancy tax.

“Janan New with the SF Apartment Association says she's raised this directly with Mayor Lee, including informing him recently that more than 1,100 rent-controlled apartments in San Francisco are listed on Airbnb, all in violation of local law, and she's frustrated that he's unwilling to enforce the law, as New York City has been doing. Meanwhile, the Airbnb legislation that David Chiu has been working on for the last year is hopelessly stalled, at least partly because Airbnb has the mayor's support and is unwilling to compromise while it's making some much profits off of its illegal behavior in San Francisco.   

“A recent San Francisco Magazine article (http://www.modernluxury.com/san-francisco/story/the-eviction-crisis-wasnt) even quotes a UC Berkeley professor saying that Airbnb is likely taking more rent-controlled units off the market than the Ellis Act. Considering the mayor is pursuing Ellis Act reform, why does he continue to ignore the impact that Airbnb is having on the city?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

Dude, calm down. You are making less sense than usual.

AirBNB doesn't own rent controlled apartments. They're not a landlord. They don't have any rent controlled units to take off the market. Stop babbling.

What might be confusing you is that some landlords are apparently improperly using AirBNB. Just like some people improperly use eBay and craigslist. Hookers use the SFBG to facilitate illegal acts. AirBNB said in the Chronicle that what the landlord did is an unacceptable violation of the law.

We know that you are obsessed with Ron Conway who is one of the investors in AirBNB. We get that. Stop being so painfully obvious.

But when you write that Airbnb is "allowing rent controlled units to be taken off the market" when they have absolutely no power to do so you are just embarrassing what is left of the SFBG because it just sounds goofy.

PS When you have to brag that Time Magazine referenced your reporting you just sound incredibly immature. Someone should do an intervention.

Posted by Guest2 on Jan. 22, 2014 @ 1:17 pm

Someone should develop an alternative to AirBnB which anonymizes/protects hosts and thwarts the "progressive" busybodies. The demand for short term rentals is extremely high, so hosts would pay a premium for such a service.

BitTorrent for the Sharing Economy.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 23, 2014 @ 12:20 am

If the SF Apartment Association is making this argument, the issue will likely impact tenants more than apartment owners.

First Steven alienates the tech worker bees, now he's working to alienate enterprising tenants.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 22, 2014 @ 1:25 pm

He is using the example of a property owner doing AirBnB to try and discredit tenants who do AirBnb.

The former is legal; the latter is not.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 22, 2014 @ 1:37 pm

AirBnB just because that unit is covered by rent control does not mean that you cannot do short-term rentals. And rentals of less than 30 days are not covered by rent control anyway.

Arguably a hotel tax is due on such rentals, but that is a long way from saying that such rentals should not happen at all. Property owners are perfectly free to do overnight and weekly rentals if they prefer to, and many do.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 22, 2014 @ 1:31 pm

I offer more detailed explanations in Into Thin Air, but most of what you're asserting isn't true, Guest. Yes, tenants and zoning laws bar short term rentals of rent-controlled units, particularly so when the are rented out for more than a tenant pays, and most leases also prohibit sublets. Rent control is also attached to the unit, so the length of the stay doesn't matter. Property owners have less restrictions, but city zoning and housing laws still ban "tourist conversions," meaning you can't use a residentially zoned property as a de factor hotel. And the fact that Airbnb owes the TOT is "arguable," it was the subject of a public hearing and ruling that Airbnb could have tried to challenge, but chose not to. This is a scofflaw company.

As to the previous commenter, do you really think I'll be drawn in by your juvenile, misleading baiting? Puh-leeze. 

Now, on the larger issue, I fully understand why tenants want to use Airbnb in this expensive city. But I don't think progressives should treat tenants that remove rent-controlled housing units from the market that differently than we treat landlords who do so. It's about protecting the city's dwindling supply of rent-controlled apartments, which should go to people who live here and not tourists.  

Posted by steven on Jan. 22, 2014 @ 2:06 pm

That is (as you did not say but should have done) stealing from their landlords.

But I maintain that a property owner may regularly and routinely let out his unit via AirBnB without incurring any legal risk other than the TOT issue, which has yet to be finally resolved.

The cited case involves an OMI, and that adds to the restrictions for a 3 year period, but absent that a property owner can AirBnB all day and night long, under current law.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 22, 2014 @ 2:28 pm

he has met the OMI rules. And as an owner, he is free to AirBnB the units.

An Ellis'ed unit is a different matter because Ellis specifically says the unit cannot be re-rented for 5 years. But OMI's have no such restrictions.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 22, 2014 @ 1:34 pm

when discussing the "rampant illegal behavior of AirBnB" you don't forget to mention that the people who rent out their apartments are equally responsible for the taxes as Air BnB is (IMHO, they are moreso responsible, seeing as how they benefit from the transaction much more than ABB does, but I suppose reasonable minds can differ on that). I seem to remember you writing that you paid the tax when you rented out your until on AirBnB, no?

Posted by guestD on Jan. 22, 2014 @ 1:35 pm

then why do they place such restrictions on renting out units in the normal way?

If you tell an owner that he can only make $500 a month from a long-term rental, but $150 a night from AirBnB, then what do they expect.

And it is perfectly legal for a property owner to do temporary rentals, while it is clearly not practicable to place such rentals under rent control.

The shareable-economy has rendered such laws moot.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 22, 2014 @ 1:41 pm

Please, tell me where! I don't even think you could get the crummiest, most rat-infested SRO for that kind of money these days.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 23, 2014 @ 11:13 pm

I used them prior to Airbnb and I'll use them again.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 22, 2014 @ 2:06 pm

In fact they were doing it before CraigsList as well, thru ad's in papers like the SFBG.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 22, 2014 @ 2:29 pm

I'll convert to TIC before I rent to a long term tenant. Mistake Made/Lesson Learned.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 22, 2014 @ 3:54 pm

If tenants vacate a unit on their own (not Ellis or OMI), the unit goes to market rate and there is nothing preventing the owner from renting through airbnb instead of long term. Also, my understanding from the tenants rights attorneys I know is that subletting is now legal in SF regardless of what your lease says, as long as the tenants has left the geographic region temporarily and plans to return. The reason it is illegal to airbnb your rent-controlled apartment is because it constitutes running a business (ie, a bed and breakfast) out of a residential rental. If you run a business out of your residential rental then rent control does not apply.

Posted by LScott on Jan. 22, 2014 @ 2:40 pm

"Also, my understanding from the tenants rights attorneys I know is that subletting is now legal in SF regardless of what your lease says, as long as the tenants has left the geographic region temporarily and plans to return."

LOL. I wouldn't be the first tenant to try to test the truth of that assertion, if I were you...

Posted by racer さ on Mar. 04, 2014 @ 4:48 pm

consent of the landlord, who is entitled to see an application form, run a credit check, and so on.

There is some wiggle room on replacement roommates but a tenant who moves away and tries to sublet his unit will find both that the LL can raise the rent to market and that that tenant may not be able to get their unit back.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 04, 2014 @ 5:14 pm

Steven- Small landlords converting rent-controlled units to hotel "rooms" via airbnb is one problem.
A much bigger problem, which has been going on longer, is big landlords converting entire buildings full of rent-controlled apartments into furnished "corporate housing." First CitiApartments, then Laramar, now Veritas/RentSFNow have emptied the buildings they buy of regular rent-controlled tenants in order to change their business model in a way that takes both rent-controlled units permanently off the market.
I cannot understand why this growing practice doesn't get as much attention as the airbnb thing, when it raises the exact same issues in a much bigger way: seriously diminished rental housing stock, long-term tenants being intimidated or "incented" to vacate their homes or face living in a building full of transients, etc. Maybe you can look into this, too?
Thanks

Posted by Guest on Jan. 22, 2014 @ 10:12 pm

I've let some flats directly to tech companies, and their employees rotate in and out of the units. Because the company takes full responsibility for the place and the rent, it's a worry-free deal. And it serves a need too.

I do not see how you can object to that as it is fully within the law.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 23, 2014 @ 7:33 am

I object for the reasons I gave: reducing the city's rental stock, and forcing people like me to

Posted by Guest on Jan. 23, 2014 @ 10:28 pm

I object for the reasons I stated: the practices reduces regular rental stock, long-term tenants are being intimidated or "incented" to vacate their homes or face living in a building full of transients, etc. The fact that the company takes responsibility with the owner does nothing to mitigate my loss of quiet enjoyment and peace of mind due to the revolving door of nameless neighbors. While technically within the law, the practice clearly violates the spirit of the 30-day minimum regulation.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 23, 2014 @ 10:35 pm

Forgot to say, these folks are also not paying hotel tax, since the business is supposedly operated on a minimum 30-day stay basis.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 22, 2014 @ 10:20 pm

They are month-to-month rentals signed by the tech company. The lease is long-term even if the tenants come and go. Perfectly legal and non TOT is due.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 23, 2014 @ 7:34 am

Steven, you're letting your bias get in the way of accurate reporting.

First, the kinds of abuses you describe, and they are serious abuses, apply to less than half of Airbnb rentals.

Airbnb's own survey of hosts indicates that more than half of hosts are individual people renting a room in their own apartment or home. Many of these people are older, unemployed, disabled and sometimes low income. They need the money they earn through Airbnb. They are not displacing anyone. Please think about this and what it means to take that income from them.

Full disclosure, I am one of those hosts and have met many others like myself at Airbnb meetings. By the way, my guests spend a lot of money in the local economy. Please think about that, too.

You know full well that the real issue here is not enough housing because of corrupt leadership in this city for decades. Airbnb is not the cause of this. Please open your mind think about.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 23, 2014 @ 10:08 pm

Excellent article Stephen. Brings to light a few things that some of us "older" San Francisco residents have been have been talking about lately. To wit; if they can think of it, it shall be done... one way or another. As technology continues to grow, and as people grow with it, new kinds of ideas are going to pop up. Given the Freedom of the Internet it is only natural that the people at the core of this Freedom will rationalize that it they are free online, they should be free in other ways. In fact, as I see it, if they are free online, they just have to be free, in total. No longer burdened by the restraints of family, or actual Friends and Community, they allow their minds to create freedoms which the rest of us might not agree with. Like those Financial, business, banking Graduates who migrate to Wall Street and believe themselves above regulation, casting nets of directives and manufacturing instruments of Profit, these techies think outside the boxes which we might call convention.

Those ride share applications which are causing folks who have toiled for years, in the rain, at night, driving the dark streets of San Francisco dealing with the insanity of our drivers, and our walkers... and now the Bike Riders, these people who have lived by the rules, saved their money and bought Cab Driving Medallions, these people who have mortgages, and pay for proper insurance, these people can just die and go to hell. Us old people are stuck in the amber of our own moment and have to learn to roll with the new way of thinking. We gotta become hip, and if we don't we gotta be ready to move to a cheaper location post haste. Far smarter people that I or my friends will have names for this new Struggle, class warfare, the haves against the have nots, young against old ways, rock, paper, scissors... the problem is that honestly they bring little but paying their taxes and buying things locally to the table. They have no sense of Our History, respect for our Institutions, and are just itching to change things into a likeness of themselves. Free.

If we oldsters have any balls, and this will be difficult as the people with tons of young money organize and buy their own elected officials ( thanks Willie Brown, Rose Pak, Mayor Lee, and the rest of you folks involved in Chinese Investments), we are gonna have to fight to keep Our City.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 24, 2014 @ 10:43 am

SF that always was a place for the adventurous and free spirited to come since the Barbary Coast. A place where people came to be because SF had something special. People came here for what was here. But all of that has changed. They came tp take San Francisco. They came as greedy invaders and vosigoths to usurp this city and destroy the neighborhoods and displace the locals. San Franciscos corrupt city govt w Mayor Lee the head whore to Fed and Corporate wealth has sold out the soul of this city seen dramatically in the giant, ugly brutish architecture now destroyed the skyline and violated completely the aesthetic sensibility of this city that once was. I have lived here since 1963 and can effectively say theres no Heart left in SF that Mr Bennett can sing to now. Its past tense now. Cant you people see that the powers that be are in total control and they dont give a fuck if every single local dies today. If anything they want local sf rent control residents OUT. This city is now for feds that are everywhere w their families having occupied a huge portion of US govt taxpayer funded housing for Obamas Stasi elite loyalists. If you havnt noticed youre asleep. Hello, theyre undercover everywhere! They look like the quintessential ugly american. They dress poorly and conservatively. They look like military people in street clothes. They are not the Google tech hipsters, they are not the well heeled rich. They are not the well heeled gays or the hippie progressive locals or the remaining blue collar locals or the blacks from Filmore and Bay View. I know what they all look like. That is the demographic or was. Thetes a whole new group of people here all over. They fit in none of those categories and they stick out like a sore thumb. GMC gas guzzling vehicles everywhere, dwarfing a city full of smalker colored cars that are gas conscious hybrids like the Prius to now have big black trucks, SUVs everywhere. They have come and colonized every neighborhood. These fed military, plus the Google, Twitter, Facebook NSA merger easily seen w Twitter cozy rt up onto the Fed bkdg on market. How much more brazen and obvious could the corporo-govt spy surveillance alliance be in your face while Twitter is allowed to evict an entire block of low income local residents housing to bring them flush w that Fed bunker at 7th. Its the super rich, the feds and the people who service their industries and perform tsks for their pleasure and convenience that will be left after they purge everyone else through extirmenation and disposal already in place in our city. If you wont see it. You surely wont make it. Were soo fucked, you dont even know it!!

Posted by Guest on Jan. 26, 2014 @ 12:50 pm

CORRUPTION, not progressive, moderate or conservative but CORRUPT.

Posted by marcos on Jan. 26, 2014 @ 1:55 pm

Put away the Meth !

Posted by Guest on Feb. 01, 2014 @ 9:03 am

AAwww.....feeling you (like a itch-not worth the effort to scratch).

Posted by Guest on Feb. 03, 2014 @ 5:43 am

What happened to "Churned
Under.??"

Posted by Guest on Jan. 26, 2014 @ 12:53 pm

News flash.
I have two friends in London, UK , who have managed to buy a house and get a mortgage each by renting out their apartments and make $50000 in one year. THAT is what you use modern technology for. You use your brain and make 50k by posting on a website tax free, BINGO.
But the "progressives"/Socialist will find a hair in every soup. Since 1917.
Next!

Posted by Dani on Jan. 26, 2014 @ 1:47 pm

What happened to "Churned
Under.??"

Posted by Guest on Jan. 26, 2014 @ 4:26 pm

Our govt is sinister. It has set up here. Our city govt venal and corrupt. The massive social media and their servers are here. The NSA and FBI are here. The site of ground zero for high tech. The elite are here. The drones are here. There is too little housing. A lot of powerful aggressive people want in. Whos in their way? Whos taking up all this precious real estate here in SF and not paying their "fair share?" Who is in the way of "progress?" The renters w rent control. It seems logical that given the sinister element that is unmistakable, if these people could get away w eliminating all of them at once. They would. And that is what is in place. Its just a matter of timing. The local populace will be purged, cleansed whatever you want to call it. Think its crazy. Just think about it.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 26, 2014 @ 5:22 pm

Our govt is sinister. It has set up here. Our city govt venal and corrupt. The massive social media and their servers are here. The NSA and FBI are here. The site of ground zero for high tech. The elite are here. The drones are here. There is too little housing. A lot of powerful aggressive people want in. Whos in their way? Whos taking up all this precious real estate here in SF and not paying their "fair share?" Who is in the way of "progress?" The renters w rent control. It seems logical that given the sinister element that is unmistakable, if these people could get away w eliminating all of them at once. They would. And that is what is in place. Its just a matter of timing. The local populace will be purged, cleansed whatever you want to call it. Think its crazy. Just think about it.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 26, 2014 @ 5:22 pm

AirBNB

Is a free market business and this is in and of itself the problem.

free markets are the problem

airbnb should be allowed to operate as a business entity. they do n o t h i n g per se other than instantiate debt structures.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 31, 2014 @ 5:05 pm

Anson Freitas
l live in Noe Valley on 24th St. between Noe & Castro. One year ago I had noticed a lot of traffic coming from the flat next door.
I reported this to the Owner of the building
who in turn hired a private investigator. A couple of months later I was told the people staying in the flat were evicted, as the place was being subletted several over- from one person to the next.
There was work done on the place and I was told the flat was listed back on the rental market. It did not take long to find a new renter but lo and behold the people who had occupied the flat before had come back. It was known I was the person who
reported this and they wasted no time in making me feel as uncomfortable by talking about constantly. In the front of the building,
in the backyard and.....thru.....the .......walls.
My first name, my last name over and over
and stories of drug use, sexual likes- all made up.
All the while people next door would disappear, while some stayed, others would come in, at times everyone seemed to leave
and a strange couple would be there for a week or two. Then they would leave and people who I thought had left would come
back.
I couldn't understand how a person could stand in front of my building and have an audience of one or two sometimes more take an interest in their spoken dirt. I later realized these were " associates " who would dialogue with my neighbors and give the appearance of people on the block talking about me. I am very private. I felt
overwhelmed as I never had any direct interactions/conflicts with any of these people. It took me almost six months to figure out that my neighbors had "associates." It is my theory that there were a number of "renters" advertising on Airbnb
and since I had made trouble for these people- this was how they were going to put me in my place.
Though I had communicated with the owner of the building, it is actually managed by a rental management Company right here in the neighborhood.
I could not figure how these people could be evicted and then turn around and come right back.
Then I happened upon a bunch of write-ups about this rental management company
written by perspective renters on Yelp. Many had the experience of being told they
had got a place only to be told the next day
(when paperwork and money would change hands) that the place had gone to someone
else. Many of these people surmised that a nice wad of cash up and above the first/last/deposit had convinced the not very
tenant friendly rental management company
to break their verbal commitments in favor
of the cash.
The name on lease could have been anybody. The name on the lease was not the same name on the lease when these people were here before.
Having "associates" who hold other place in the city comes in handy. If there is a interest in a Valencia St. flat, if there were no renters next door the renter on Valencia can
stay next door and they could in turn, rent
the Valencia flat.
I am 52 years old and on disability. I believe they chose to come back and carry on in spite of me because I was considered
an easy mark. They did everything to make
me uncomfortable in my own home. I had fans in every room- white noise to mask
the constant verbiage about me.
They moved back one year ago. I believe
they wanted me to move so they could take on my flat. Same way- a big wad of cash to
the crooks at the rental management company.
They knew what they were doing. I have no doubt they had done it before. That helped me to realize I could not let them push me out of my home. But there are many senior citizens who would not have been able to handle what I went through. I wonder how many they successfully pushed out of their homes in order to have their "bootleg airbnb" (non-owners renting on airbnb) operation.
When I had guests over-they would stop.
When my guests left- it would again start.
The building I live in is very well kept.
But the walls are very thin. no insulation. Next door there were people sleeping in the kitchen as well as all the bedrooms. They made friends with the downstairs neighbors and a few "associates" were staying there as well.
My next door neighbors lease is up next week and they have chosen to move. Is it over? I do not know. Where they are concerned I take nothing for granted. I have talked to the laundry service that picks up and delivers and was told that one or two
people had mentioned that they "employees
of airbnb."
I could not just go to the police and complain my "neighbors were talking about me." I felt they wanted to "drive me crazy."
I started counselling eight months ago to deal with the stress.
There were other things I believed they were doing but I won't say it in this forum,
suffice to say it has been a hard year with very little peace.
So I put this out for what it's worth.
A month back I called the owner of the building. He gave me more information on what his private investigator found. These people had been renting the flat for $200
a day. They were renting bedrooms as well.
With a new name on the lease I have no doubt they came back to do it again.
My email address: ansonfreitas@gmail.com
if anyone has similar experiences or know of another forum I can take my story to.
No one likes to be seen as an easy mark.
Where people talk about you but never talk to you. Where they think they can get away with something because of one's age or because one keeps to himself. At times I thought they would do physical damage to me. But I assure you there was great mental stress.
I hope to God it is over. I will prevail. This is my home not my business. And in the end, they do it for the money....Edit

Posted by Guest on Feb. 01, 2014 @ 8:23 am

Maybe you should lay off the TINA ?

Posted by Guest on Feb. 01, 2014 @ 8:55 am

Gee....freak assumption? Not! Love ya back, 24th st neighbor!

Posted by Guest on Feb. 03, 2014 @ 4:19 am

l live in Noe Valley on 24th St. between Noe & Castro. One year ago I had noticed a lot of traffic coming from the flat next door.
I reported this to the Owner of the building
who in turn hired a private investigator. A couple of months later I was told the people staying in the flat were evicted, as the place was being subletted several over- from one person to the next.
There was work done on the place and I was told the flat was listed back on the rental market. It did not take long to find a new renter but lo and behold the people who had occupied the flat before had come back. It was known I was the person who
reported this and they wasted no time in making me feel as uncomfortable by talking about constantly. In the front of the building,
in the backyard and.....thru.....the .......walls.
My first name, my last name over and over
and stories of drug use, sexual likes- all made up.
All the while people next door would disappear, while some stayed, others would come in, at times everyone seemed to leave
and a strange couple would be there for a week or two. Then they would leave and people who I thought had left would come
back.
I couldn't understand how a person could stand in front of my building and have an audience of one or two sometimes more take an interest in their spoken dirt. I later realized these were " associates " who would dialogue with my neighbors and give the appearance of people on the block talking about me. I am very private. I felt
overwhelmed as I never had any direct interactions/conflicts with any of these people. It took me almost six months to figure out that my neighbors had "associates." It is my theory that there were a number of "renters" advertising on Airbnb
and since I had made trouble for these people- this was how they were going to put me in my place.
Though I had communicated with the owner of the building, it is actually managed by a rental management Company right here in the neighborhood.
I could not figure how these people could be evicted and then turn around and come right back.
Then I happened upon a bunch of write-ups about this rental management company
written by perspective renters on Yelp. Many had the experience of being told they
had got a place only to be told the next day
(when paperwork and money would change hands) that the place had gone to someone
else. Many of these people surmised that a nice wad of cash up and above the first/last/deposit had convinced the not very
tenant friendly rental management company
to break their verbal commitments in favor
of the cash.
The name on lease could have been anybody. The name on the lease was not the same name on the lease when these people were here before.
Having "associates" who hold other place in the city comes in handy. If there is a interest in a Valencia St. flat, if there were no renters next door the renter on Valencia can
stay next door and they could in turn, rent
the Valencia flat.
I am 52 years old and on disability. I believe they chose to come back and carry on in spite of me because I was considered
an easy mark. They did everything to make
me uncomfortable in my own home. I had fans in every room- white noise to mask
the constant verbiage about me.
They moved back one year ago. I believe
they wanted me to move so they could take on my flat. Same way- a big wad of cash to
the crooks at the rental management company.
They knew what they were doing. I have no doubt they had done it before. That helped me to realize I could not let them push me out of my home. But there are many senior citizens who would not have been able to handle what I went through. I wonder how many they successfully pushed out of their homes in order to have their "bootleg airbnb" (non-owners renting on airbnb) operation.
When I had guests over-they would stop.
When my guests left- it would again start.
The building I live in is very well kept.
But the walls are very thin. no insulation. Next door there were people sleeping in the kitchen as well as all the bedrooms. They made friends with the downstairs neighbors and a few "associates" were staying there as well.
My next door neighbors lease is up next week and they have chosen to move. Is it over? I do not know. Where they are concerned I take nothing for granted. I have talked to the laundry service that picks up and delivers and was told that one or two
people had mentioned that they "employees
of airbnb."
I could not just go to the police and complain my "neighbors were talking about me." I felt they wanted to "drive me crazy."
I started counselling eight months ago to deal with the stress.
There were other things I believed they were doing but I won't say it in this forum,
suffice to say it has been a hard year with very little peace.
So I put this out for what it's worth.
A month back I called the owner of the building. He gave me more information on what his private investigator found. These people had been renting the flat for $200
a day. They were renting bedrooms as well.
With a new name on the lease I have no doubt they came back to do it again.

if anyone has similar experiences or know of another forum I can take my story to.
No one likes to be seen as an easy mark.
Where people talk about you but never talk to you. Where they think they can get away with something because of one's age or because one keeps to himself. At times I thought they would do physical damage to me. But I assure you there was great mental stress.
I hope to God it is over. I will prevail. This is my home not my business. And in the end, they do it for the money....Edit

Posted by Guest on Feb. 01, 2014 @ 8:29 am

Just cover all the windows with blankets and comforters…. you will be alright.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 01, 2014 @ 9:00 am

the reason there is no legislation is that tenants have, are and want to continue to rent out their rent controlled apartments, often at a profit. some say more than half airbnb rentals are rented out by tenants. since the city protects their "privacy rights" catching them when they are breaking their leases in doing it, is not so easy. they are not paying taxes on the rentals and don't want to, since if they did their landlords could see who they are. hence, vacation rentals are here for now all rhetoric aside. when tenants are greedy, it is not pc to say it like it is.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 04, 2014 @ 4:13 pm

"Local journalists starting to catch onto Airbnb's subversion of SF's rental market."

Subversion? Steven is starting to sound like the House Un-American Activities Committee.

Why not go the Full Stalin and start referring to them as "saboteurs and wreckers"?

Posted by racer さ on Mar. 04, 2014 @ 4:45 pm

We missed you.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 04, 2014 @ 5:12 pm

HELLO to my friends out there i am testifying about the good work of a man who helped me, it has been hell from the day my husband left me i am a woman with two kids my problem stated when the father of my kids travel i never help he was living but as at two weeks i did not set my eye on my husband i try calling but he was not taken my call some week he call me telling me that he has found love some where easy at first i never take to be serous but day after he came to the house to pick his things that was the time i notice that things is going bad i help he will come back but things was going bad day by day i needed to talk to someone about it so i went to his friend but there was no help so i give it up on him month later i met on the the internet a spell caster i never believe on this but i needed my men back so i gave the spell caster my problem at first i never trusted him so i was just doing it for doing sake but after three day my husband called me telling me that he his coming home i still do not believe but as at the six day the father to my kids came to the house asking me to for give him the spell work to said to my self from that day i was happy with my family thanks to the esango priest of (abamieghe)esango priest he his a great man you need to try him you can as well to tell him your problem so that he can be of help to you his content email is this esangopriest@gmail.com indeed you are a priest thank you for making my home a happy home again. remember his email is esangopriest@gmail.com

Posted by nancy on May. 07, 2014 @ 6:21 pm

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