Airbnb

Airbnb has settled its lawsuit with the city of San Fransisco. The company’s head of global policy Chris Lehane announced the same today. The case stemmed from a lawsuit filed by Airbnb against San Francisco over a new rental legislation. Calling the laws “well-intentioned” Lehane said that they made things really hard for hosts.

Airbnb will now offer a highly streamlined registration process to its hosts. The company said that this new process will make it very easy for hosts to register their rentals with the city. Airbnb will also let them obtain a business license through its own platform. This will significantly ease up the process for hosts while also ensuring that all of the potential hosts signing up for Airbnb also go through the city’s registration process.

You’re not able to be listed unless we’ve taken them through that process.

Hosts will also be notified that their information is being shared with the city of San Francisco, during the sign up process itself. The pre-existing host community will also be registered however, the process will take at least a few months yet.

Airbnb already works along similar lines in teh cities of New Orleans, Chicago and Denver. So its not exactly inventing something here and as such, it won’t be too difficult to get the process incorporated everywhere else.

We’ve gotten to the point where we know internally what we need to do to help facilitate that process.

Airbnb is also required to supply the city of San Francisco with a list of all the homes listed on its platform on a monthly basis. There are quite a number of homes that are registered with Airbnb but not with San Francisco. There are around 2,100 short-term rental hosts registered in San Francisco, but there are over 8,000 of them  listed on Airbnb.

Speaking on the topic, San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera said:

We have successfully defended San Francisco’s common-sense regulations on short-term rentals. This agreement helps protect the city’s precious housing supply by obligating these companies to ensure that all their listings are legal and properly registered. This is a game changer. The settlement will also make it easier for residents who follow the rules to supplement their income by renting out a spare room or their home while on vacation.

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