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Mayor Lee Signs 'Airbnb Law' For Short-Term Rentals In San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- Residents who rent their San Francisco spare room out to travelers on websites like Airbnb have reason to rejoice. On Monday, Mayor Ed Lee signed a law to track and regulate short-term rentals in a city suffering from a housing affordability crisis.

The new regulation, set to take effect February 1, only allows people to rent rooms if they are San Francisco residents living in the unit for at least nine months a year. The new law also says renters must register as hosts with the city, carry liability insurance and pay the city's 14 percent hotel tax.

"As the birthplace of the emerging, more sustainable sharing economy, San Francisco must be at the forefront of nurturing and regulating its growth by modernizing our laws and confronting emerging policy issues and concerns," Mayor Lee said in a written statement. "Now, San Franciscans who just want to share their home with occasional visitors will have a clear set of rules and restrictions to earn extra money to make ends meet and enjoy a better quality of life in our City for themselves and their families."

It was never legal to rent out rooms in San Francisco for fewer than 30 days, a time period that was more like running a hotel than subletting an apartment.

Renting whole homes for fewer than 30 days is still forbidden. The new law could force out websites like Texas-based HomeAway and VBRO who focus on short-term vacation rentals of whole homes.

City officials explain they want the legislation to discourage people from buying San Francisco property to create full-time de-facto hot

Although Airbnb is legal, some home owner's associations and landlords continue to ban owners and leasees from renting their units out on Airbnb.



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