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San Francisco Approves Airbnb-Style Multifamily Rentals

Airbnb-Style Multifamily Rentals

SAN FRANCISCO - By a vote of 7-4, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors has approved an ordinance regulating Airbnb-style short-term rentals in the city and county of San Francisco. The legislation was sponsored by Supervisor President David Chiu, who received significant support from the San Francisco-based company.

Airbnb is a lodging reservation website where property owners rent out a room, apartment or home.

Surprisingly, opposition to the legislation united some property owner and tenant groups who say the expanding industry is helping spur evictions by those who can make more on vacation rentals than long-term tenants.  "Our fear is that we'll lose thousands of units to Airbnb use and those are units we need desperately for San Franciscans who live and work here," said San Francisco Apartment Association spokesman Charley Goss.

The ordinance approved by the Board of Supervisors creates a public registry, requires hosts to pay hotel taxes and limits rentals in non-hosted units to 90 days a year. However, critics worry aspects of the law may be unenforceable, because it requires property owners to self-report.

The ordinance also requires unit owners to obey rent-control laws, have liability insurance, and imposes financial penalties for failing to report rental dates. Pending a final vote, the law is scheduled to go into effect Feb. 1. A similar proposal for short-term multifamily rentals is being debated in Portland, Ore., and can be considered as soon as this month.

Sources:, City Council of San Francisco, The Oregonian