How eight identical apartments ended an Airbnb ‘illicit hotel’ scheme in San Francisco

7 November 2018 external

There was something immediately weird about the eight San Francisco apartments owned by landlords Darren and Valerie Lee, who claimed that different families lived in each of them.

The identical house plants were fishy enough. But in each of the eight units, the families who lived in them also happened to arrange all of their dirty breakfast dishes in the sink the exact same way. They also stocked their kitchens with the same Costco foodstuff, their closets with the same shoes and clothes, and their bathrooms with the same hygienic products and damp bathroom towels, each flung over the door with identical carelessness.

Or, at least, this is what the Lees wanted city housing inspectors to believe.

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