Airbnb legit after six years in SF

The old strategy of “don’t ask for permission but forgiveness” seems to have worked for Airbnb and other home-sharing online firms.

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday 7-to-4 to initially approve the so-called “Airbnb law.”

But companies like Airbnb and other online platforms, which match hosts and short-term tenants, will face new regulations, as TechCrunch reported.

Chief among them is a new 90-day limit on full residence rentals per year. Hosts will have to register with the city and pay hotel tax. It’s up to the hosts, and not Airbnb and other services, to register and confirm that they are complying with the 90-day limit.

The legislation, which is expected to go into effect early next year, legalizes the home sharing businesses, many of which had been in violation of the city’s long ban on residential rentals of less than 30 days.

Supervisors are worried about the “hotelization” of residential property for tourists at a time when there is high demand for housing. 

But Airbnb and other sites that match hosts with visitors will not have to pay $25 million in back taxes.

The company, which is valued at about $10 billion, issued a statement, via the San Francisco Business Times:

The legislation that moved forward tonight will give regular people the right to share the home in which they live and make it fair to share in San Francisco. This vote was a great victory for San Franciscans who want to share their home and the city they love. We look forward to working with everyone as we move forward.

Above: Airbnb screen shot. 



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