SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – The battle over short-term rentals in San Francisco moved to the ballot box Tuesday as local residents voted on a measure that would set limits on the rental units available in the city.
If approved by voters, Proposition would add restrictions to short-term rentals, including limiting them to 75 days per year for a unit, regardless of whether the rental is hosted or unhosted.
Among the loudest and fiercest opponents to Proposition F is Airbnb, a San Francisco-based company which has made a business, valued at more than $25 billion, by connecting people with homes to people looking for short-term rentals around the world.
Proponents of the proposition argue that renting out apartments or rooms on a short-term basis removes units from the long-term housing stock, thus raising the price of rents in the city.
Opponents say that decision should be left up to the homeowner to decide.
Members of ShareBetter SF, the coalition supporting Proposition F, say that the city has as many as 10,000 short-term rentals listed on sites such as Airbnb, but fewer than 700 people had registered with the city since regulations requiring it were introduced in February.
“That means that 94 percent of people doing short-term rentals in San Francisco are breaking the law,” Measure F supporter Supervisor David Campos said.
Hosting platforms, such as Airbnb and VRBO, would have to stop listing a unit for short-term rental once that unit has been rented on a short-term basis for more than 75 days in a calendar year.
Under current city law, there is no limit to how many days a person can host a short-term renter. However, the current law states that unhosted rentals, where the host is not present, are capped at 90 days per year.
Among the most notable changes that would be enacted via the proposition is that it would make it a misdemeanor offense for a hosting platform to unlawfully list a unit as a short-term rental.
Under current law, it is a misdemeanor for a tenant or owner to unlawfully rent a unit as a short-term rental.
Right now, anyone who wants to offer a unit for short-term rental must register the unit with the city’s newly created Office of Short-Term
Residential Rental Administration and Enforcement.
The ballot measure proposes that the city go a step further and post a notice on the building stating that a unit has been approved for use as a short-term rental.
The proposition also bans the short-term rental of in-law units.
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