Photo: Flickr/Airbnb Office
Airbnb has a harried history with the City of San Francisco, from their passive aggressive bus stop ads regarding having to pay taxes to the Board of Supervisors unanimously voting for stricter regulations. Airbnb reacted to those stricter regulations by suing, but settled on Monday, May 1st. Between the Board of Supervisors vote and the settling, Airbnb has ousted 923 listings in San Francisco alone.
The settlement agreement will require all Airbnb hosts to register with the city, and the company will be responsible for assisting new hosts with the registration process. Each month, Airbnb must also submit a list of its hosts’ information to the city to ensure they meet all of the requirements. Listings that fail to register must be deactivated by Airbnb.
“Through our investigatory hearings, we have found that the majority of Airbnb listings are illegal because they are renting out entire buildings or they’re not actually residences,” said Aaron Peskin, a member of the city’s Board of Supervisors.
San Francisco is not the largest market for the global homesharing company, but it is home to the company’s headquarters. Perhaps after the bus stop PR fiasco, Airbnb is opting for a more friendly presence in a city already rife with gentrification caused by the tech boom.
Wired expanded on this quandary in a recent article, “San Francisco is the leading symbol of the global tech boom, the hub of a region that has arguably generated more wealth than any other place in human history…sending the city spiraling into a housing affordability crisis. And that’s a narrative into which Airbnb fits whether the company like it or not.”
If the deal is approved by the Board, Airbnb’s updated registration system should be in place by next year.