San Francisco supes going after Airbnb, other short-term rentals

Tuesday, April 26, 2016
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San Francisco supervisors are proposing a new crackdown on illegal short-term rentals that is going straight to Airbnb.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- San Francisco is going after short-term rentals used by Airbnb and other companies. On Tuesday, supervisors are expected to propose an amendment to a current law that would fine the companies $1,000 a day for each unregistered listing.

"At least 75 percent of active Airbnb hosts in the city and county of San Francisco are un-registered," said Supervisor David Campos.

And that, in a nutshell, is what Campos and fellow Supervisor Aaron Peskin want to fix.

City law requires all Airbnb hosts to register their listings with the city. But the supervisors say it's not happening and that some 6,000 Airbnb listings remain un-registered.

Many of them, they say, have been permanently taken off the rental market; to the detriment of the city's shrinking housing stock.

"Only way to bring those thousands of units back to the market is by holding the platforms accountable," Peskin said.

Their legislation would force Airbnb and similar Internet platforms to verify to the city that their hosts are registering. If not, Campos says, "They will face penalties up to a $1,000 per day per listing."

Housing activists voiced their full support.

"It will finally force some accountability on a corporation that has flouted local laws for years," said Jennifer Fieber with the San Francisco Tenants Union

Airbnb responded with a statement which says in part: "While the legal enforceability of this proposal is questionable... Airbnb will continue working to simplify the process and get hosts registered."

The supervisors will introduce their legislation at the board meeting Tuesday.

Click here for full coverage on Airbnb.