The Airbnb law is failing. Here’s how

by Tim Redmond : 48hills – excerpt

Supes hearing shows that enforcement of the law is barely happening. Plus: Should SF taxpayers underwrite the Super Bowl party?

JANUARY 12, 2016 – Nobody from Airbnb or any of the other short-term rental platforms showed up at yesterday’s hearing on enforcing the city’s law. No representative was on hand to tell the Land Use and Transportation Committee members whether the companies have any interest in cooperating with the city. Oh, they were aware that the issue was on the table, but the corporate execs chose to duck…

“It’s really sad for me to read in the Chronicle that the city administrator had to beg Airbnb to do the right thing,” Sup. David Campos noted. “That’s where we are today – instead of rules we are begging.”…

Now: There is some dispute about how many STRs there are in the city. …

But the hearing produced some useful information about how the board could improve the enforcement…by mandating more cooperation from the platforms…

it would be so easy for Airbnb and its competitors – is to provide the city with the addresses of any unit where there’s a complaint or a question about its legality. .

That change would cost Airbnb nothing, not a penny, and would help quickly resolve complaints and investigations.

The other key change, which has been talked about for more than a year: Simply ban the hosting platforms from listing any unregistered units. This would have no impact on legal hosts, and would instantly end much of the abuse…

The committee spent some time talking about the costs of Super Bowl 50, and the message we got was this:

The city will spend taxpayer money – maybe $3 million or $4 million of taxpayer money – providing police, Muni, public works, and other support to the event. The city will probably take in more than that in increased revenue.

But either way, Sup. Jane Kim, said, “I think it’s a policy discussion whether private entities should pay for this event, whether it brings in money or not.”…(more)




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