Property owners whose Bernal Heights home became the location of a wild party that ended in gunshots in October last year after they illegally rented it out on Airbnb have agreed to settle a lawsuit with the city, the City Attorney’s office said Tuesday.
The couple, Erik M. Rogers and Anshu Singh, have agreed to pay $185,000 – representing $160,000 in revenue from the rentals plus a $25,000 penalty – and are prohibited from offering short-term rentals at their property on the 200 block of Bank Street for five years.
“These owners deliberately chose to break the law. They lied on their application, got caught, and went about illegally renting the property anyway,” City Attorney Dennis Herrera said in a statement. “Let me be crystal clear: if you try to game the system, we will catch you.”
The house was the location of a party the night of Oct. 14, 2017 where a fight broke out that resulted in gunfire, injuring one person. Police later collected more than 100 bullets and shell casings in the area that hit several cars and houses on the block. One bullet entered the living room of a nearby home.
Months later, a neighbor found a discarded gun in his backyard on Jan. 28 and accidentally fired it, injuring his hand.
In comments posted to the San Francisco Examiner’s website in May, Singh said she and her husband moved to Bali, Indonesia to spend more time with their children instead of working “14 to 15-hour jobs.”
“Our mistake was not keeping up to date with the laws, but trust that Airbnb knows the laws and will take our listing down because we were not in compliance,” Singh wrote. “And what is happening with Airbnb, who allowed a gang member to rent a house in residential community.”
But the City Attorney’s office said the couple had applied for a short-term rental permit a year earlier, in October 2016, in which Rogers stated under penalty of perjury that the house was his primary residence.
His application was denied the following month by the Office of Short-Term Rentals after the office determined the property was not his primary residence and that it contained an illegal kitchen and dwelling room. The couple continued to rent the property in violation of the law, for at least 11 more months, the City Attorney’s office said.
San Francisco requires property owners renting a housing unit for less than 30 days at a time to register with The City and be a permenant resident of the unit, residing there for at least 275 nights of the year. Units cannot be rented out for more than 90 days a year.