Retired Teacher Hit With $15,000 Airbnb Fine

by Tianna Mañón

Retired Teacher Hit With $15,000 Airbnb Fine: Figure 1
An Airbnb rental in DC.

A San Diego woman is facing a $15,000 fine after renting out bedrooms in her house via Airbnb without a permit.

Rachel Smith, a 70-year-old retired teacher, first listed the bedrooms for rent in May 2012. When Smith’s neighbors grew frustrated with the frequent guests, they complained to city officials, according to an NBC affiliate in San Diego. Following two inspections by the city, Smith was sent a notice to cease renting in August of last year. However, Smith kept renting the bedrooms for a few months while trying to find out where Airbnb rentals fall in the context of the city code.

Earlier this month, the city found that Smith violated San Diego’s bed and breakfast law, which states that she needs a permit to rent out the bedrooms.

DC has a similar bed and breakfast law to the one being applied in Smith’s case. If you live in a home and rent out bedrooms to 1-2 people for periods of less than 29 days, you need to obtain a Home Occupation Permit and a bed and breakfast business license. See more in the chart below.

Retired Teacher Hit With $15,000 Airbnb Fine: Figure 2

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This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/retired_woman_facing_15000_fine_for_illegally_operating_bed_and_breakfast/10240


  1. jamietest@gmail.com said at 9:14 pm on Thursday August 13, 2015:
    Substitute "property owner" for "retired teacher" and this article would have a completely different vibe..."Disabled, Female, Minority, Retired Children w/ Special Needs Teacher who volunteers at a homeless shelter"...
  1. DCJules said at 6:19 pm on Friday August 14, 2015:
    Does anyone know if DCRA has changed the process for making an Airbnb legal? I just called and was told that I need a license of a single family rental, which requires me to first file with the DC Office of Tax and Revenue, then get a Basic Biz License and then get a home inspection before I am all legal. Is this true?? Everything I had read previously indicated Home Occupation Permit for a B&B and BBL. Please advise!

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