Report: Airbnb Legalization Has Safety Concerns

The proposal to legalize and regulate short-term rentals is not safe, a committee says.

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    Could legalizing the popular service lead to hazards for its users and hosts? A building code advisory committee thinks so.

    Regulating Airbnb could be dangerous.

    A building code advisory committee in San Francisco rejected that city's plan to allow operators of short-term rentals like Airbnb to legalize the service, citing "fire-safety, life-safety," handicap accessibility and other concerns, according to the San Francisco Examiner.

    The proposal from Sup. David Chiu would allow the city to collect the city's 14 percent hotel tax on rooms or apartments listed n Airbnb, VRNO, Flipkey and other sites, the newspaper reported.

    There are about 5,000 such listings in San Francisco, where the practice is technically illegal, the newspaper reported.

    Lacking, however, are provisions for safety code. That includes smoke detectors, fire exits and other requirements of a hotel -- things that aren't necessarily required in a residence, the newspaper reported.

    The Code Advisory Committee's verdict isn't necessarily a death knell for the legislation, however: legalizing Airbnb passed the Planning Commission and now needs approval from the Board of Supervisors, who will consider the issue as early as September.