By Jen Kinney.
After years of refusing to help San Francisco craft a mandatory registration system for hosts, Airbnb told the San Francisco Chronicle this week that it will work with the city to do so.
San Francisco has attempted to limit the number of days a year property owners can host guests through the platform, as part of a bid to discourage people from buying up apartments solely for the purpose of using them as short-term rentals. But just a month after the law’s implementation last year, the city’s planning department admitted it was basically impossible to enforce. Only about 1,700 of an estimated 8,000 hosts have registered since last February, and without access to Airbnb’s booking data, the city’s hands are tied.
Now the company says it is willing to provide hosts’ names, addresses and guest stays as part of a mandatory registration system. This will allow Airbnb to cut off listings once a host reaches the city’s annual cap on number of nights rented, and to make sure units where tenants were evicted under the Ellis Act are not turned into short-term rentals.
Airbnb’s willingness to play nice comes as new regulations loom. Currently, San Francisco allows rooms to be rented 365 days a year and entire homes for only 90 days. But the Board of Supervisors is expected to impose strict new limits Tuesday that will restrict short-term rentals to no more than 60 days a year.