Airbnb Law & Registration Requirements

San Francisco passed a strict short term rental law, known as the “Airbnb law” in 2016. Shortly thereafter, Airbnb and HomeAway/VRBO sued the City to prevent enforcement of this new law. They have since settled the lawsuit by coming up with a compromise which involved both companies agreeing to remove users who did not meet the City’s registration requirements.

As of January 16, 2018, both Airbnb and HomeAway/VRBO, are required to remove any users on their sites who have not met registration requirements. Under the Airbnb Law, the City registration requirements are as:

  • Rentals for less than 30 days require the host to register as a host with the City’s Office of Short Term Rentals for $250.
  • Owners must also register as a business with the City’s Office of the Treasurer & Tax Collector for $91. 
  • The host must be the permanent resident of the home (i.e. live in the home for 275 days out of the year). 
  • You may only rent the unit “unhosted” (i.e. without you in the home) for a total of 90 days per calendar year.
  • You may not offer more than 5 separate reservations for your unit (i.e. different rooms/beds for individual rental).
  • Owners must maintain $500,000 of liability insurance in order to qualify as a host.
  • Owners are still subject to the rent control restrictions that limit the amount of rent that can be collected on their units to a proportionate share of the total rent plus some adjustments for furnishings, internet, etc.

Given all these restrictions, Airbnb which is based in San Francisco, has reported that there has been a decrease from 11,000 hosts in August to 5,500 hosts in San Francisco today. If you were one of the hosts that has not registered, you may find yourself removed from both Airbnb or HomeAway/VRBO. You may still register and be reinstated...if you qualify under these strict guidelines.

BlogKelly Kang