The process of booking someone else’s home for a quick trip – or even renting out your own place on a short-term basis – could soon change dramatically in San Francisco.
On Thursday, a committee of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors took steps to begin holding home-sharing companies, like Airbnb, accountable for any illegal short-term rentals they post on their websites.
The change in law would require home-sharing websites to verify that listings are registered with the city before posting them online. Otherwise, companies could face penalties from the city of up to $1,000 per day.
Beginning in February 2015, anyone wanting to rent out their San Francisco home for less than 30 days has been required to register with the city and remain the primary resident of that home. Last month, however, the Investigative Unit found that thousands of short-term rental hosts across the city continue to break the law.
Supporters of the measure believe added enforcement will help put more housing stock back on the market for full-time residents. Critics, however, argue the city’s registration process for hosts remains far too complicated.
Airbnb has told the Investigative Unit it has cracked down on illegal posts, and just this week launched a new feature on its site allowing neighbors to report problems directly to the company. Airbnb, however, said it does not support the city’s efforts to require companies to verify whether hosts are registered before allowing them to post their ads online.
During Thursday’s Government Audit and Oversight Committee, supervisors voted unanimously to push the measure forward, which will allow the full Board of Supervisors to vote on the issue next Tuesday.
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Watch the entire series in this NBC Bay Area investigation:
- Part 1: Thousands Violate SF Housing Laws Using Airbnb, Few Face Penalties
- Part 2: Illegal Short-Term Rentals Can be Nightmare for Neighbors
- Part 3: San Francisco Lawmakers Could Soon Force Airbnb, Other Home-Sharing Websites to Make Major Changes
- Part 4: Airbnb Sues SF to Block New Law Aimed at Delisting "Illegal Rentals"
- Part 5: SF Law Targeting "Illegal Rentals" on Hold as City Battles Airbnb Lawsuit
- Part 6: Airbnb Heads to Federal Court Over Lawsuit Against San Francisco
- Part 7: Judge Raises Doubts Over Airbnb's Lawsuit Against San Francisco
- Part 8: Judge Orders SF to Hold Off on Airbnb Fines and Penalties
- Part 9: Airbnb and SF Meet Privately to Settle Bitter Lawsuit
- Part 10: San Francisco Limits How Often Hosts Can Use Airbnb
- Part 11: Airbnb's New Rules Abroad Could Impact San Francisco
- Part 12: SF Issues $1.1 Million in Fines to Hosts Using Rental Sites Like Airbnb
- Part 13: Thousands of Airbnb Rental Listings in SF Could Soon Be Purged