SANTA MONICA—The Santa Monica City Attorney’s Office announced an enhanced sentence for Shabi Jafri, a local real estate agent who was convicted of operating an illegal vacation rental business in June 2018 and violated his diversion terms.
According to a press release from the city of Santa Monica, Santa Monica Code Enforcement Officers actively monitor each probationer to guarantee compliance with probation and diversion conditions. Officers took action after learning of violations by Jafri.
“The City of Santa Monica has consistently dedicated policies to producing, protecting and preserving housing in our community,” said Chief Deputy City Attorney Yibin Shen. “While City prosecutors use innovative tools, such as diversion and probation programs, to achieve justice with opportunity for rehabilitation; we and our law enforcement partners actively monitor compliance, and promptly take action to ensure rigorous compliance with diversion/probation terms in order to fully effectuate the legislative objectives that we are charged to enforce.”
In June 2018, Jafri was convicted of unlawfully taking nine residential housing units off the rental housing market and operating them as illegal vacation rentals, and refused to comply with City Administrative Citations. After being convicted, he was placed on formal diversion, with the opportunity to earn a possible future dismissal of the case by showing contrition and compliance.
Code Enforcement Officers, through their proactive probation and diversion monitoring program discovered that Jafri was continuing to engage in the same unlawful activities. On December 12, 2018, City Prosecutor Michael Cobden obtained an enhanced sentence against Jafri in Los Angeles Superior Court. Judge TK Herman ordered Mr. Jafri to:
-Perform 112 hours of community labor.
-Perform 140 hours of community service.
-Pay restitution to the City of Santa Monica in the amount of $3,915 in investigation costs.
-Comply with all laws, including the City’s Home-Sharing Ordinance’s prohibition against hosting, facilitating, aiding, or advertising a vacation rental in the City.
“We agree with and appreciate the Court’s sentencing order,” said Code Enforcement Manager Sharon Guidry. “When the Council adopted Santa Monica Municipal Code Chapter 6.20, which reaffirmed the City’s longstanding prohibition against vacation rentals in Santa Monica, it clearly reiterated its deep interest in and concerns about protecting Santa Monica’s diverse permanent rental housing stock. My team of dedicated Code Enforcement Officers are committed to enforcing this important legislation, through the entire life-cycle of every case. We proactively monitor diversion and probation terms to ensure scrupulous compliance with the City’s laws and to guarantee that Santa Monica remains a place that people from all income levels and backgrounds can proudly call home.”
For more details on the City’s Home-Sharing Ordinance or to apply for a Home-Sharing License, visit www.smgov.net/homeshare. To report an illegal vacation rental business, contact Code Enforcement at (310) 458-4984.