by emily green : sfgate – excerpt
New legislation that would expose short-term rental companies like Airbnb to big fines and misdemeanor charges when hosts fail to follow the city’s registration requirements moved one step closer to becoming law on Thursday.
The Board of Supervisors’ Government Audit and Oversight Committee unanimously supported the proposal by two of its members. They described the ordinance, by Supervisors David Campos and Aaron Peskin, as a commonsense proposal that ensures existing short-term rental laws are enforced and dismissed concerns that it goes against federal law.
“This is not about changing existing law,” Campos said at the hearing. “It is ultimately about corporate responsibility. About an industry that has made and continues to make tens of millions of dollars in this line of work taking responsibility for the negative impact that they are having on the housing stock.”
The committee — composed of Supervisors Campos, Peskin and Norman Yee — forwarded the ordinance to the full board to consider on Tuesday, where it’s expected to pass. Board president London Breed, who normally sits on the committee but ceded her seat to Campos for this meeting because she had to leave early, also said she supports the legislation.
If the legislation is enacted, San Francisco would have among the most stringent regulations and oversight of short-term rentals in the country. Los Angeles and other cities are considering similar legislation that would require short-term rental companies to police their sites to ensure their hosts are complying with local regulations.
As has become the norm at Board of Supervisors’ hearings involving legislation that would impact Airbnb, dozens of hosts showed up to testify about how it has helped them stay in the city… (more)