San Francisco could lose over 50 percent of Airbnb hosts following a lawsuit settlement which will make them register with the city.
The settlement states that all hosts on the service will be automatically registered to the city. However, more than 50 percent are reportedly non-eligible to do so.
“San Francisco estimates that more than 50% of current Airbnb listings in the city aren’t eligible to be registered and thus would need to stop hosting visitors unless they can comply. And many may not be able to,” reported USA Today. “There are currently 2,100 registered short-term rental hosts in San Francisco but more than 8,000 listings for San Francisco on Airbnb, according to the city’s Office of Short Term Rentals.”
“Airbnb and HomeAway could also get dinged if their hosts don’t follow the cities rules. Platforms that provide booking services and receive a fee for the booking could be subject to fines of up to $1,000 per day for each illegal booking transaction under the rules,” they continued. “They would be required to cancel future stays and deactivate listings after receiving notice from the city of an invalid registration.”
Aaron Peskin, a member of the city’s Board of Supervisors, claimed that the majority of Airbnb listings “are illegal because they are renting out entire buildings or they’re not actually residences,” while city attorney Dennis Herrera expressed satisfaction at the new regulations.
“I don’t think it’s a secret to anybody that there were a lot of folks who were gaming the system and violating the law,” said Herrera. “Now the platforms will be responsible for the shifty operators.”
Since its creation in 2008, Airbnb, which allows users to rent rooms and properties from hosts on a short-time basis, has been subjected to numerous restrictions around the world.
Last year, New York City warned hosts of fines up to $7,500 if they were not present at a property being rented for under 30 days, while the company agreed to start limiting rentals in London and Amsterdam in December.
In May 2016, Berlin also began restricting rentals from the service, threatening large fines in an attempt to “keep housing affordable for locals.”