City closes Bankers Hill Airbnb ‘party house’
SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – The San Diego City Attorney’s Office closed an Airbnb vacation rental in Bankers Hill on Friday, citing concerns about gatherings amid coronavirus restrictions and nearly two dozen other violations .
“From wrapping up a party house during a pandemic to illegally renovating an entire property, the conduct of the defendants in this case is egregious and unacceptable,” City Attorney Mara W. Elliott said, in a press release sent to ABC 10News. “No neighborhood should have to put up with such dangerous behavior.”
The house located at 2970 2nd Ave. is listed on the Airbnb website as “The Ashley – Your Private Oasis Next to Downtown”. It rents for $ 930 per night.
Airbnb sent the following statement to ABC 10News:
Airbnb policy expressly prohibits “party houses” and we have suspended this ad as we investigate further.
We take these reports very seriously and stand ready to support local authorities in their efforts to resolve this issue.
According to Airbnb, hosts are not allowed to allow parties where current public health orders prohibit gatherings, such as in San Diego County.
Airbnb said it also “temporarily removed the ‘parties and events allowed’ rule from the house rules from all San Diego listings that previously allowed parties.”
The company has also made it more difficult for some guests under 25 to book rentals in their area unless they have a number of positive reviews.
Neighbors say they hear loud noises and parties coming from the house almost every week. The San Diego Police Department has received more than a dozen noise or nuisance complaints, many of which have come since restrictions on large gatherings were put in place in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
SDPD told ABC 10News that the department received 13 calls for service regarding this location from January through July of this year.
SDPD forwarded the complaints to the city prosecutor’s office. Their investigation revealed more than just noise.
According to the complaint, the owner of the home, David Contreras Curiel, did not pay the taxes or fees required to operate a vacation rental. Curiel also did not obtain the required business tax permit or transitional occupancy tax certificate.
The complaint also stated that Curiel had not paid commercial taxes on rental units, nor bills for the city’s water and sewer services.
The complaint alleges that Curiel never obtained the required permits for major renovations on the house. According to the press release, they include:
- convert the garage into a second illegal dwelling with a full kitchen and bathroom without a license
- install an inground pool without a permit
- install an inground jacuzzi, a gas line and a fireplace without a license
- construction of two additional bathrooms with no permit required
- install interior lighting circuits, electrical outlets, an HVAC system and water heaters without a license
- make major electrical and mechanical modifications to the kitchen without a permit
- obstruct emergency evacuation and rescue by turning the den into a bedroom without a license
- install a patio structure outside the property lines
ABC 10News has contacted the owner as well as the listed property manager for comment. Neither returned our calls.