Short term rentals, commonly referred to was VRBO or Airbnb, are overseen by the San Francisco Office of Short-Term Rentals (“OSTR”). The OSTR has the authority to issue a notice (“notice”) of a violation of San Francisco’s Short-Term Rental Laws. The OSTR has the power to collect penalties for violations of the Short-Term rental laws, this power includes issuing liens for unpaid penalties.
A notice will describe the violation, tell the owner to immediately correct the violation, and may include administrative penalties. The notice will also include information about the owner’s rights to request a hearing to appeal the determinations in the notice and any penalties.
An Owner can appeal the violation and the appeal must be made within 30-days of receiving the notice of violation. Once the appeal has been made, the OSTR will set the matter for an administrative review hearing. The hearing is open to the public.
The hearing is conducted by the Office of Short-Term Rentals. The hearing date should occur within 45 days of the appeal being made. Briefs and evidence can be submitted ten days before the hearing. The brief is the owner’s opportunity to narrow the issues for the appeal, make legal and factual arguments, and submit evidence.
At the hearing the owner will have the opportunity to give testimony under oath and submit evidence. If the owner does not attend the hearing, the OSTR hearing officer will issue a decision based on evidence submitted prior to the hearing.
After the hearing the OSTR hearing officer will determine whether there was a violation of Short-Term rental laws. The decision can also include penalties for Short-Term Rental Law violations. If the hearing officer finds that there was a violation, the owner will be given a reasonable amount of time to remedy the violation or the owner can appeal the decision to San Francisco Superior Court. If the hearing officer determines there was no violation, then the matter is closed. If, after the decision is issued, the violations are not remedied then the owner can be prohibited from listing the property on a short-term rental website.