San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera is using a gunfight that surprised a sleepy street in Bernal Heights last October as part of his salvo against property owners who illegally rent out their homes on short-term rental sites such as Airbnb.
On Wednesday, Herrera announced that his office had filed a lawsuit against the couple that own 212 Banks St., which on October 14 became the site of a party-turned-gun battle. There were no fatalities and only one injury that night, but the hail of bullets sprayed parked cars with bullets and sent partiers fleeing.
According to the lawsuit, Erik Rogers and Anshu Singh rented their home out to tourists for most nights between June 2016 and October 2017, sometimes for as much as $800 a night. Meanwhile, they lived in Bali, Indonesia.
“In the middle of a housing crisis, you have a couple who aren’t even living in the country turning a house into an illegal hotel for tourists and partiers. This could have been a home that kept one more family in San Francisco. Instead, it brought a deluge of gunfire to a quiet neighborhood. We are changing that,” Herrera said in a press release.
San Francisco prohibits owners from leasing their property for less than 30 days. Owners are allowed to apply for a permit to rent their homes for brief periods of time, but they must reside in the property for 275 nights of the year.
In November 2016, Rogers applied with the Office of Short Term Rentals for a permit but was denied on the basis that it was not his primary residence, according to the lawsuit.
That did not stop Rogers. This is the second lawsuit this month in which Herrera targets San Francisco those flouting the city’s restrictions on short-term rentals.