Airbnb and HomeAway have agreed to dismiss their legal challenge of San Francisco’s new short-term rental law which restricts units that haven’t been registered with San Francisco’s Office of Short-Term Rentals from being listed on their sites and to provide a mechanism for easily verifying said registrations.
The requirements of the settlement include:
- Residents looking to list a rental on Airbnb or HomeAway will have to input their city Office of Short-Term Rental registration number (or application pending status) to post a listing
- Airbnb and HomeAway will be able to use a “pass-through registration” system on their sites that sends individuals’ registration application information directly to the Office of Short-Term Rentals for consideration, simplifying the process for hosts
- Airbnb and HomeAway will provide the city’s Office of Short-Term Rentals with a monthly list of all San Francisco listings with sufficient information to allow the city to verify that the unit is in fact registered
- Airbnb and HomeAway will cancel future stays and deactivate listings after receiving notice from the city of an invalid registration
While there are currently 2,100 registered short-term rental hosts in San Francisco, there are listings for over 8,000 units in San Francisco on Airbnb alone. And as we first reported earlier the year, complaints related to illegal Airbnb-ing in San Francisco doubled in 2016 and again in the first quarter of 2017.
The settlement, over which the U.S. District Court will retain jurisdiction, is contingent upon endorsement by San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors.
Assuming it’s endorsed, Airbnb and HomeAway will have 120 days to implement a control requiring all new hosts to be registered with the city before posting a rental to their sites. A culling of unregistered hosts with existing listings will be phased in over several months “to ensure a smooth transition for both hosts and city enforcement staff,” with listings linked to suspected bad actors among the first ones required to come into compliance. And within eight (8) months, all units listed on the sites will be required to either be registered or removed.