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Lawsuit alleges Tenderloin single room occupancy hotel rooms rented through Airbnb

September 17, 2014

by Peter Lawrence Kane : bolditalic – excerpt

Single-room occupancy hotels, the last vestiges of affordable housing for San Francisco’s poorest residents, are apparently now being rented out to people on vacation through Airbnb. According to the Examiner, a class-action lawsuit in SF Superior Court last week claims illegal short-term stays at the 62-room Sheldon Hotel at 629 Post, arguably just close enough to pass the bullshit test if it’s advertised as “Union Square.” (It’s happening in Chinatown as well.) City code currently prohibits such hotelization. You can’t rent a unit for less than 30 days if the building has more than four units, nor can you rent an SRO for less than seven days – although there is an exception during the winter months (most likely to help keep the homeless out of the cold and rain.)

To be clear, the claimants in this case aren’t being evicted. Their complaint cites increased noise and foot traffic from Airbnb guests. This may sound like a flimsy pretext for a lawsuit, but the real point may be to draw attention to and halt the management’s reduction of the housing supply. If you can’t find a place to live because affordable rooms are being rented out possibly in violation of the city code, it helps to have activists getting creative to sue on your behalf… (more)

Examiner article with documents

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