Airbnb Working for Hometown Legality

San Francisco law technically makes startup illegal.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    An Airbnb verified room. The San Francisco-based startup allows anyone to rent out their home or a room.

    San Francisco startup Airbnb is engaged in a battle in its hometown to become legal.

    The site, which allows anyone to rent out their home or a part of it to travelers, technically violates a San Francisco law, which makes it unlawful for someone to rent out their apartment or room for less than 30 days.

    San Francisco Supervisor David Chiu has been working to change the law and make it so it is not a crime, as first reported by real estate blog Socketsite two months ago.

    This comes as San Francisco Treasurer José Cisneros wants Airbnb to pay taxes for helping others find temporary homes.

    Cisneros said in a ruling in April that the online home rental service should have to pay San Francisco's hotel tax. A ruling that he has since affirmed.

    The treasurer wants Airbnb, and other similar sites, to be treated like a hotel and comply with a city transient law that requires anyone who rents out a guest room to pay a 15 percent tax.