Airbnb has become fantastically popular in San Francisco as a way to augment the city's ridiculously high rent prices, but, to the surprise of many using the service, it is often still illegal. SFGate reports that the city is now cracking down on renters, with the City Planning Department pursuing fines and evictions for those caught using the website.
One renter, a special-ed teacher named Jeffrey Katz, came home to his apartment to an eviction notice that read "You are illegally using the premises as a tourist or transient unit." After seeking help, Katz found no support from either tenants' activists or Airbnb itself. (Airbnb, for its part, tells people to check local laws before using its service.)
SFGate talked to Edward Singer, the attorney who filed the notice. "Using an apartment for short-term rentals is a crime in San Francisco," he said. "It's obviously not the same moral culpability as running a house of prostitution or manufacturing methamphetamines, but any illegal use is grounds for eviction."
SFGate notes that short-term renting laws may soon change, but despite assurances that he's not as bad as a pimp or meth dealer(!), Katz may be out of luck. If he is evicted, he won't be able to afford paying for another apartment in the city.