On April 23, 2014, City Attorney Dennis Herrera filed two separate lawsuits against short-term rental scofflaws for illegally converting residential apartments into commercial tourist lodging, which the property owners then marketed through such online platforms as Airbnb, Homeway.com and VRBO.com. In both cases, the defendants had previously evicted long-term residents from their apartments under the Ellis Act, a state law that allows landlords to evict tenants and withdraw their properties from the residential rental market. Two of the evicted tenants were disabled, according to San Francisco Superior Court and Rent Board records cited during pleadings.
One of the cases, City and County of San Francisco and People of the State of California v. Tamara Yurovsky et al., San Francisco Superior Court No. 538854.
“Lev, Tamara and Tatyana Yurovsky also used the Ellis Act to evict long-term residential tenants -- including one who was disabled -- from one of their properties, at 734 Bay Street. Together with a residential unit at another of their properties owned by Lev and Tatyana and managed by Tamara, at 790 Bay Street, the Yurovskys illegally converted their apartments into tourist use beginning in 2010. They marketed the rentals to tourists on Airbnb.com, VRBO and “greatsfvacation.com” for rates of between $165 and $320 per night, with three-night minimum stays.
Though the Yurovsky defendants boasted on social media that they had hosted several hundred tourists, according to evidence detailed in the complaint, they too flouted the city’s conditional use authorization process, violating the San Francisco Planning Code and state law. “
The listings on VRBO, Airbnb and greatsfvacation.com appeared to be managed by the daughter, Tamara Yurovsky with the parents and siblings greeting the guests. Tamara has lived in New York since 2010 where she studies architecture.