SAN FRANCISCO—According to Mayor Ed Lee and Supervisor Mark Farrell, the city is creating a new office to regulate Airbnb and other short-term rentals.
In their announcement, Lee and Farrell revealed amendments to the current short-term rental laws, including the creation of the Office of Short Term Rental Administration and Enforcement. The office will be comprised of six members, taken from various other government departments, who will deal with host registration and violations.
In a press release on the subject, Farrell said that he believes the office will “streamline the registration process for hosts and allow the Planning Department to be laser-focused on going after the most egregious violators of our short-term rental law.” He continued, “I am pleased to propose and support the creation of the new Office with Mayor Lee, so that we can incentivize hosts to be good actors under the law who are looking to earn extra income in one of the most expensive City’s in the country while targeting our coordinated resources and efforts towards punishing the bad actors and commercial users who flout the law and contribute to our housing crisis.”
The new regulations will make it easier for residents to obtain the business license necessary to legally host short-term rentals, and will extend the yearly cap on rentals from 90 days to 120 days. Residents will only be legally permitted to rent out their home for up to 30 days at a time. The new package of amendments also treats all short-term rentals equally by collapsing the law’s current distinction between “hosted” and “un-hosted” short-term rentals.
Other amendments include the right to sue if the city takes to long to address complaints, as well as the creation of a single-location City Registry for potential hosts to register.
San Francisco’s regulations are a new chapter in the saga of local backlash against Airbnb and similar short-term rental services.