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How to Turn a Free Parking Space Into a Subsidized Hotel

5:22 PM PDT on May 7, 2013

Image: AirBnB

Want to cash in on prime San Francisco real estate that the city gives away for free? Some enterprising van owner shows how it's done on AirBnB, where a listing offers a rentable camper parked on the public right of way for the budget-conscious traveler.

That's right -- someone has figured out how to make a killing by charging $92 a night ($480 for a whole week) for the use of this vehicle, while paying absolutely no form of rent, mortgage, property tax, or other cost associated with controlling real estate. It's just a subsidized mobile hotel.

The city is actually starting to shoo out RVs with overnight parking restrictions on large vehicles, but only because they're encroaching upon car-owning residents, who are apparently more entitled to store their vehicles in that space than homeless people are.

As we all know, storing private property like, say, a locker on the street is illegal, but that doesn't apply to automobiles (so long as they don't double as housing). And most elected officials are perfectly okay with that.

(h/t to Mike Sonn)

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