Bernal neighbors are angry over a party on a Saturday night ten days ago that ended with an eruption of gunfire and a scattering of scared partygoers, with some running across roofs and others fleeing down the street. The party was being thrown at a two-bedroom at 212 Banks Street that according to the Examiner has been "frequently rented [out] on Airbnb and VRBO by “'Erik,' an owner who apparently lives in Indonesia." It's unclear if the house had been a nuisance to neighbors before, but as the Examiner notes, because it's an entire single-family home being allegedly rented out by an absentee owner, it's in violation of the city's short-term rental law, and it was not registered with the city.
Airbnb and competitor VRBO have until January to remove all such scofflaw listings, and the Ex confirms that they have now removed this one, which was on both sites, with Airbnb issuing a statement saying, "We have zero tolerance for this type of behavior and upon learning of this incident, we permanently banned this guest from our platform, suspended the listing and reached out to law enforcement to offer our assistance." Airbnb has also offered to reimburse any neighboring homeowners who may have suffered any property damage.
According to a police report obtained by Bernalwood, the incident on Saturday, October 14/early Sunday, October 15 began with a party that some gang-affiliated party people were throwing and advertising with flyers. Allegedly, rival gang members found out about the party from one of the flyers, showed up, and multiple people with guns opened fire. Ingleside Capt. Joseph McFadden says that "houses and cars were hit with many bullets," and "amazingly," no one was hurt except for one individual who was shot "in the butt." And witnesses have been cooperating with the investigation.
"The shootout on Banks Street was terrifying and outrageous,” Supervisor Hillary Ronen tells the Examiner in a statement. "What occurred was the result of a flagrant disregard for San Francisco law."
Under a compromised settlement reached earlier this year, Airbnb and its rivals have agreed to force all of their users to register with the city's Office of Short-Term Rentals, and to ban anyone from the platform who does not have such registration. The companies have until January 2018 to reach full compliance, after which they will be fined $1000 per day per illegal listing, by the city.
A community meeting to address the shooting, among other concerns of the neighborhood, is scheduled Wednesday evening from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Bernal Heights Community Center, as Bernalwood reports.