San Francisco votes to cap short-term rentals

AP News
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Posted: Nov 16, 2016 1:07 AM

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — San Francisco officials on Tuesday approved a tight 60-day cap on Airbnb and other short-term rentals.

The proposed ordinance, which would apply to hosts who register their rentals with the city on or after Tuesday, requires a second vote by the Board of Supervisors.

The ordinance would not affect the roughly 1,700 hosts who have already registered. Those hosts may continue to rent out entire homes for up to 90 days a year, and they can share their homes as often as they want if they stay on site.

San Francisco legalized short-term rentals in 2014, requiring hosts to register and comply with regulations. But thousands of hosts have not registered, and hosting platforms have resisted city pleas for help.

Critics of San Francisco-based Airbnb say the short-stay online rental company encourages landlords to take units off the market, exacerbating an already tight housing market.

Hosts say they need the extra income to survive in a city that has grown increasingly unaffordable.

Airbnb currently is fighting in federal court a San Francisco ordinance to fine the platform for booking rentals that were not registered with the city.

"We are disappointed on behalf of the thousands of middle class San Franciscans who would be harmed by this arbitrary proposal that does nothing to fix the broken registration system," the company said in a statement.

"We remain ready and willing to work with all parties to build a simple registration system that protects housing and enables residents to share their homes without endless red tape," it added.