Supervisor David Chiu’s proposed law which would lift the existing outright ban on short-term rentals in San Francisco but establish a new set of rules and disclosures by which all hosts and “Hosting Platforms,” such as Airbnb, would have to adhere, or be subject to a penalty of up to $1,000 a day, will be reviewed by San Francisco’s Planning Commission in a public hearing this week.
The proposed ordinance would allow residents who occupy a unit as a permanent residence for at least 275 days a year to offer it as a short-term rental for the other 90 days, as long as it’s pre-registered with the City, occupancy taxes are paid and insurance is maintained.
While Supervisor Chiu’s proposal would exempt single-family homes and hosted rentals (where the resident is present during the guest’s stay) from the 90-day limit, San Francisco’s Planning Department is recommending that no exceptions to the 90-day limit be allowed.
In addition, the Department is recommending that the addresses of all registered short-term rentals be publicly disclosed and mapped; that any posting or advertisement for a short-term rental in San Francisco include a valid registration number or be subject to a fine; and that penalties for repeat violators be increased and enforced.
Hosting Platforms would be responsible for notifying hosts as to the applicable restrictions and requirements for registration as well as for collecting and remitting Transient Occupancy Taxes and an accounting of the number of days a property was rented. Failure to provide the required notice or accounting would subject Hosting Platforms to a fine of up to $1,000 a day per violation as well.
The proposed legislation would not supersede the terms of an existing lease or homeowners association (i.e., illegally subletting would still be grounds for eviction), and tenants in rent-controlled units would not be allowed to collect any more money than is being paid to their landlord in rent, but it would create an exception for first time violators of the standing “illegal use” clause which landlords having been using to evict tenants from rent-controlled units.