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Following the release of a report revealing that over three-quarters of San Francisco Airbnb listings are illegal, the city’s Board of Supervisors has unanimously voted to enforce stricter legislation for short-term home rental sites.

Starting July 27th, listings on sites like Airbnb will need to include an official registration number to show that the property has been approved by the city as a short-term rental. What’s more, short-term home rental sites will be required to remove any unregistered listings — noncompliance could result in fines of up to $1,000 per day for every listing not registered. 

The news was a huge blow for Airbnb, the best-known short-term home rental site by a long shot. According to TechCrunch, so far only about “1,300 of Airbnb’s estimated 7,000 hosts have tallied up their forks and toiletries to register with the city.”

In response, the company has launched a campaign called Airbnb Action. It emphasizes that “home sharing is an economic lifeline for many San Francisco residents,” and outlines the changes Airbnb would like to see to the city’s registration process. Those include a grace period for new hosts to get registered and the creation of a one-stop online permit application process.

For now, here’s a simple breakdown of what you need to do if you’re a San Francisco host looking to keep a listing on Airbnb:

  • Obtain a business registration certificate from the San Francisco Treasurer & Tax Collector prior to registering with the city
  • Register with the city
  • Be a permanent resident of the unit being rented
  • Post a city-issued short-term rental registration number on any hosting platform where the unit is being offered
  • Maintain $500,000 or more in liability insurance for the unit
  • Provide a quarterly report to the city’s Office of Short-Term Rentals on the number of nights the unit is rented

Full details can be found here on Airbnb’s website.

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