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article imageWoman in San Diego must pay $15K fine over Airbnb rentals

By Owen Weldon     Aug 17, 2015 in Lifestyle
San Diego - A woman in San Diego has to pay a fine of $15,000 for operating AirBnb rentals. The original fine was more than $20,000, but it was reduced.
Last week a San Diego Administrative law judge ratified that owner-occupied residential room rentals are illegal without the owner of the home paying for a permit, which costs between $5,000 and $10,000.
Rachel Smith, 70, started renting out two spare rooms in her 1912 craftsman home in Burlingame. When she decided to start renting her rooms, Smith's daughter and granddaughter helped her set up an Airbnb account, where she advertised her guest room for $80 per night. That allowed access to a laundry room, kitchen and backyard.
However, neighbors started to complain about foot traffic, and the zoning inspector got involved.
Eventually a cease and desist letter was sent out, but Smith said she wasn't running a bed and breakfast and she just thought the city didn't understand what she was doing. She added that she was doing Airbnb and she was able to screen all of her clients, which is different than running a bed and breakfast.
Smith ignored the cease and desist letter and operated for another year, and this led to the city fining her $22,400. A city hearing officer determined that Smith's rentals did fall within the bed and breakfast code because she provided lodging for less than 30 days to paying customers.
The fine was calculated by charging $200 per day that she didn't comply with the cease and desist letter.
Airbnb is a website that connects people who want to rent their entire property or just a room in their home, with lodgers.
More about airbnb, Fine, woman fine, Airbnb fine, San Diego
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