The City Attorney today announced a settlement with the offshore owners of an illegal short-term rental that was the site of a cinematic 2017 gun battle in which more than 100 bullets were sprayed about a sleepy Bernal Heights neighborhood while terrified party-goers leaped from rooftop to rooftop to flee.
In the wee hours of Oct. 12, 2017, gunfire erupted outside 212 Banks St. as a party turned sour in the worst way. Miraculously, although more than 100 rounds were discharged in a residential neighborhood, only one person was struck and injured (10 weeks later, on Jan. 28, a neighbor also injured himself when he discovered a discarded gun in his backyard and shot himself in the hand).
The city went after homeowners Erik Rogers and Anshu Singh, in May filing a lawsuit against the married couple, who rented out their house on Airbnb and other platforms but were living in Indonesia at the time of the shootout.
The couple had applied to the city’s Office of Short-Term rentals for a permit, but had been denied. Later, they illegally transformed their single-unit home into a two-unit dwelling and rented it out for more than a year on Airbnb and other sites, bagging some $160,000 in profits for rates sometimes exceeding $700 a night.
Per today’s settlement, which you can read here, the couple will fork over $185,000 in civil penalties and be barred from any short-term rentals on the property for five years, mitigating those illegal profits and then some. The couple is also mandated to render their home code-compliant within 180 days and abide by a 10-year injunction on illegal behavior on the property.
Rogers and Singh purchased the home in 2010 and, per city records, have not listed it as their primary residence since about 2013. Nevertheless, per the City Attorney, Rogers in 2016 declared under penalty of perjury during his short-term rental application that he resided in the home for at least 275 nights per year and would maintain the property “in compliance with all applicable City codes.” The Office of Short-Term rentals denied his application when it concluded 212 Banks Street was not the couple’s primary residence and, to boot, contained an unwarranted kitchen and room.
“San Francisco’s short-term rental laws exist for a reason — so that our homes aren’t turned into illegal hotels,” said City Attorney Dennis Herrera at the conclusion of the settlement agreement. “These owners deliberately chose to break the law. They lied on their application, got caught, and went about illegally renting the property anyway. They exploited the housing crisis for profit, putting money ahead of their neighbors’ safety.”