Denied San Francisco Certificate for Hosting

in
Vallejo, CA
Level 2
891 Views

After a lot of work building up reviews and fixing up the house I was denied hosting by an aggressive property manager in SF. The owners of the house I rent live next door and across the street. They are very mellow careless people and I thought for sure a notice would go to them, but instead it went to the primitive, clueless, aggressive, old(in ideology --not being ageist, though hes about 65) property manager who went a-wall and sent his attorney after me. So long story short the city is not giving me my certificate. Not sure how I am going to cover my insanely high rent since I am over paying and noone wants the small room where its priced. This is another story. 

 

So just want to warn others. The notice they send does not go to the owners on the deed like stated. The city is doing deeper research and finding property managers to ensure the axing of legitimate hosts for whatever reason. The city can see my profile and that I am living in the place --by all the reviews about me and my current house mate. 

 

After doing airbnb for near 10 years, with nothing but good experiences, these are my thoughts:

 

  1. Airbnb is actually less wear on the house since guests NEVER use the kitchen and they are RARELY even in the house. My other roommate gets home from work lays on the couch, spills his beer on the floor, has occassional parties, etc. This never happens with guests. The city and property managers are basing their idealogy on a primitive time and rare cases. If only they could see it like us hosts do.
  2. Its a lot of work. No easy money to be had. Its like running a hotel but harder because reviews mean more and you have to be present as a host. Always smile, constant email exchanges, ensure they have directions and can get in, etc. 
  3. It allows people like servers, musicians, and artists to remain in the city. 
  4. It forces one to take extremely good care of the place. eg cleaning daily, picking up trash on the sidewalk, landscaping, lubricating hinges, esuring no mould occurs in the kitchen or bathroom, etc, etc etc Last landlord constantly commenting on how great the place looked. 
  5. It relieves landlords of having to pay an extra tenant during an OMI. My last place had a legitimate OMI and they only had to pay me. The home owners/ friends were happy about this. 
  6. It prevents parties from happening in the house and anything that would cause real wear and tear like storing bikes in the living room, snowboards, skiis, etc. The house needs to be essentially like a model home to maintain good airbnb status. Again, wear and tear argument is hogwash. 

 

I actually think landlords who adamantly oppose airbnb without deciding on a case by case basis are straight up stupid. They are not helping home owners. Mainly they are costing them more if an OMI were to happen. All the arguments a landlord may have such as wear and tear, they want the easy money, insurance, getting fine $500 a day are complete hogwash arguments. None of it is true. If you follow the citys protocol and realize there is a 1m insurance policy with airbnb, it actually works more in the owners favor. 

 

Maybe one day these people will wake up. I was lucky enough to have a smart home owner/ landlard over the last 9 years that allowed me to airbnb and actually was happy for me --since he saw it as a way for me to better myself as a musician and save some money while staying in the city.

 

Not sure what I am going to do. I have 6 months left of a $4500 a month lease, $3k of which is my sole responsibility. If anyone gets a mellow guest looking for a month+ furnished place in the heart of the Mission and they can pay $1500 a month plus bills, please contact me.  I can use the help. 

 

Thanks for listening to my rant and hope I help others who may be expecting a notice to go to the owner. 

 

14 Replies

Re: Denied San Francisco Certificate for Hosting

in
Vallejo, CA
Level 2

I knew what I was getting into btw. So please no you should of done this or should of done that. I firmly stand my grounds that what I am doing should be acceptable and that there is a primitive mindset among property managers/ landlords that is not based on reality. I tried my best to side step these people and go directly to the real decider (owner of the house) who has more to benefit. Though not enough to benefit to have to waste their time on it. I figure my odds were 60/40 that I would get the cert. 

Re: Denied San Francisco Certificate for Hosting

in
KCMO, MO
Level 10

In KC I was responsible for contacting property owners myself. So i used the city records to get their addresses. You might try petitioning after you get permission from the people who actually own the property. That trumps someone who is just paid to maintain/manage it.
What may be happening is that the "owners" have all their correspondance forwarded to the property manager - or have that group designated as the primary contact. I would bypass that and ask them directly. You might get the same answer, but what do you have to lose?

But also - as a former landlord I'll warn you that using Airbnb without permission from the owner or the property manager first - is a lease violation. It's grounds for eviction because it's consider an illegal sublet and you're allowing access to the property by strangers not known to the property owner.

I'd just contact the owners and explain the situation and see if they'll be supportive. With pricing in SFO i can see why someone would need help making rent payments.

Re: Denied San Francisco Certificate for Hosting

in
Jersey City, NJ
Level 10

I agree with all of this.  The move to shut down airbnbs, especially in large cities, with the idea it will help with affordable housing is misguided.  

 

Our airbnb is the first floor of our two family house and most definitely other than a few scrapes from people's luggage the apartment gets much less wear and tear than if it was rented for the long term.

 

Is there an option to appeal?  Get a hearing before someone else?  

Re: Denied San Francisco Certificate for Hosting

in
KCMO, MO
Level 10

I agree. We had tremendous damage from previous tenants and was ready to give up until a neighbor suggested we furnish the extra unit (it's a duplex) and try Airbnb (we'd watched them do it for several years). Turns out the wear and tear is significantly lower (almost all of my guests have been neat and polite).

Re: Denied San Francisco Certificate for Hosting

in
Vallejo, CA
Level 2

Exactly, if landlords would look at the data and not be sold on shady attorneys instilling fear in them, things would be different. Also, opening up space that is not being used will substaintially help the housing crisis we have here in SF. e.g. someone airbnbing out a room for a couple months while they are on a business trip or vacation. Not allowing airbnb means this is unused empty space. I really wish data would work its way into these property managers lives --probably will in 20 years or so. 

Re: Denied San Francisco Certificate for Hosting

in
Somerville, MA
Level 10

@Robert375. So sorry that this didn't work out for you. However, I can not believe that in San Francisco you couldn't find some 30-40 day short term rentals. Over the years, I have known tons of people who have moved across the city to work at startups and needed a place to land.

 

Good luck!

Re: Denied San Francisco Certificate for Hosting

in
Vallejo, CA
Level 2

I am shocked as well. I've been at this in SF for 26 years... Most likely just the off season? Been advertising for 3 months now with very little to no respone. I am finding a lot of rent controlled places nearby that are driving down the price. I also think a lot of tech workers would rather have a studio for a bit more. I really do not know. I'm assuming. 

 

 

Re: Denied San Francisco Certificate for Hosting

in
Seattle, WA
Level 10

No insurance that the landlord has will cover Airbnb loss for his structure. Why take on so much risk for no extra gain ?

Re: Denied San Francisco Certificate for Hosting

in
Vallejo, CA
Level 2

Can you explain what you mean or give an example?   'airbnb loss for his structure' - I can't figure out what you are trying to say here. My head is spinning trying to figure this out. 

 

I am just saying airbnb offers 1m in liability insurance. If the house were to burn down or something then home owners insurance would cover it --this is irrelevant of guests or not. Otherwise the lease would say no guest ever allowed in house -this is not realistic. I think many landlords have this utterly flawed logic that a guest means extra risk. There is no basis for this. A permanent resident has a substantial more amount of risk for the reasons mentioned above. The data would prove this. 

 

No matter what argument a landlord throws out against airbnb they will lose if we go by facts and data. Every argument, other than an extended stay over 30 days (whichs gives a person squaters rights)  against airbnb is just pulled out of an a#@! with no actual facts backing it. Ironically, landlords are forcing people to have long term guests which makes it way more difficult for the landlord. Even if that person were to sign a lease --its just another person that needs to be bought out if the owner decides to sell. I am concluding that real estate professionals are really not very smart when it comes to logical thinking and they get sold on shady attorneys who see a market to instill fear in. None of which is based on any solid data. 

Re: Denied San Francisco Certificate for Hosting

in
Vallejo, CA
Level 2

I initially took this as siding with the landlord but I think you mean the landlord would not be willing get the decent enough insurance? The way I look at it is the 1m in liability by airbnb makes it extra safe for the landlord. There is no 1m in liability insurance on a permanent tennant. the landlord only has liability insurance if say a step is broken and say the mailman slips and breaks his leg as a result... It only comes in to effect if the landlord is at fault for some sort of lack of maintainence, that they were aware of! Regardless of who gets hurt.

 

Another flawed argument that a landlord may bring up when saying airbnb adds insurance risks...

Re: Denied San Francisco Certificate for Hosting

in
Seattle, WA
Level 10

I would study the Airbnb insurance, it's not primary,and has lots of gaping holes around liability and replacement value.

 

The landlords insurance for the structure will be void if your STR and to get coverage via proper etc costs 200-300% more. Who is paying ? 

Re: Denied San Francisco Certificate for Hosting

in
Vallejo, CA
Level 2

Just dug into this a bit futher and think you have a valid argument! However, the airbnb policy covers an damage the "guest may cause to the structure of the home". --so to answer your question airbnb is paying. If the policy is not robust enough for the landlord, the host can get commercial short-term rental insurance which is $2-3000 a year. In which case the host will be paying. This comes out to an extra $8 a day. Of course, no incentive for the landlord to deal with this, and most are uncaring, unethical, lazy jerks IMO so this is a hurdle that will have to be overcome.

 

UPDATE: The more I dig into this the more I see it is a problem. It seems the only problem with airbnb STR and it is rarely discussed or brought up when speaking with landlords --who so far from my experience bring up illogical false arguments agains airbnb.

 

I feel it is Airbnbs responsibility to work out this insurance issue.  

 

If a guest burning down a structure causes the insurance to be void and Aribnb only covers 1m --this aint going to cut it. Though, the opposing argument may be this sort of thing is so rare it is on par with winning the lottery. First the guest would have to burn the place down, second it would have to be proven the guest actually burned the place down, third there would be a lengthy legal battle the insurance company would have to go through to prove this which would wind up being costly for all parties, fourth the insurance company would have to know there is STR activity in the first place. There may be better odds of the house getting bombed in WW3. So again, back to the data --from what I gather so far it is on par with winning the lottery --that a guest would burn the house down or create such major structural damage that would excede 1m. 

 

Re: Denied San Francisco Certificate for Hosting

in
Seattle, WA
Level 10

The insurance problem is huge even if you own your home - you want to pay $2-3k a year means a lot of Airbnb to just cover expenses. Other issues include

 

- loss of security since a lot more people have access / keys etc

- increased wear and tear on everything since STR guests don't care what gets damaged, broken, blocked plumbing etc. they just blame you and move on

- noise, garbage, water, sewer usage. Again they generally don't care. I've had people dump out the contents of their car and take hour long showers. It's all increased cost. They also like to run heat and AC 24/7.

Re: Denied San Francisco Certificate for Hosting

in
Seattle, WA
Level 10

I think the only way it would work is to be open to landlord and offer to cover their expenses and share some of the profit to counter the increased risk. If they really like / trust you then maybe it works. I've seen some property management in buildings that do a profit sharing Airbnb as an incentive to get people to move in. On a large scale building that could be a lot of $$

Join the conversation