SAN FRANCISCO - Airbnb is crying uncle. The home rental website announced it is willing to give out information to the city of San Francisco about its clients. This, as the city is about to impose more regulations that would limit short-term rentals.
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For many, Airbnb has been a life saver. Kepa Askenasy has used the extra income to make ends meet.
"I've had a lot of medical bills and time off from work, my regular income and so that's my story," she said.
She is registered with the city as an Airbnb host, but many more are not. After years of holding out, Airbnb now says it will cooperate with the city and its mandatory registration system by giving out names and addresses of their hosts.
Airbnb told the San Francisco Chronicle it's planning on sitting at the table with the city to address the issues in a win-win scenario.
Why the change of heart? Last June the board of supervisors passed an ordinance that said Airbnb could only collect booking fees off the units that are legally registered. Airbnb went to court to try and stop the city, but last week a federal judge hinted it would not side with the company.
"That more than anything else has driven them to the position where, okay, maybe now it's time to make nice and to follow some rules," said Dale Carlson of Share Better San Francisco.
Today at a committee hearing, people voiced their disapproval with another proposed ordinance that would cap the rentals to no more than 60 days a year.
The full board votes Tuesday.
"I am very worried that not allowing me to host my room for more than 60 days will put me on the senior endanger list," said Askenasy.
Those who are already registered with the city like Askenasy are grandfathered in and won't have to face a cap.
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