The relationship between Airbnb and its home city of San Francisco is complicated to say the least. the least. The two have repeatedly duked it out over regulations, taxes, and liability, and now the stage is set for yet another battle between the city and the home-sharing platform, as the San Francisco Board of Supervisors considers reducing the number of days people in the city can rent out their homes each year.
Critics of the current rule — which requires hosts to register with the city and limits annual rentals to 90 days out of the year — argue that it is ineffective and has been difficult to enforce.
“Too many hosts (are) not registering with the city, and too many people (are) either exceeding, or just plain ignoring the annual rental caps,” Board President London Breed, who is supporting the amendment, said in a statement. “This takes critical housing units off the market, rendering them unavailable to all those struggling to find a permanent, affordable place to live.”
Under the amendment, Airbnb hosts that have already registered with the city would be allowed to continue abiding by the current rule, renting 90 days a year for unhosted rentals of entire homes, and no limits for rentals when the host is present during the rental period.
“The hosts who have played by the rules and registered already did so with assurances from the city, and we should live up to our promises,” Breed said.
Groups that support Airbnb hosts say the amendment won’t actually help enforcement and could actually discourage registration.
Likewise, a spokesperson for Airbnb tells the Chronicle that the amendment could hurt hosts who are already having a difficult working with the “broken” registration system.
“We are concerned this proposal will add one more barrier to compliance for hosts,” the company said.
Proponents of the amendment counter that it will help rein-in hosts or landlords who post their properties on the site in violation of the current cap are diluting the already limited housing supply in the city.
“No one has defined a way for the City to track hosted vs. unhosted rentals,” Dale Carlson, a spokesman for anti-Airbnb group Share Better, tells the Chronicle. “This ends that silly distinction.”
SF supervisors propose 60-day cap on all Airbnb rentals [San Francisco Chronicle]
by Ashlee Kieler via Consumerist