‘Airbnb Law’ Approved By SF


Support of enterprise is good to see. With Airbnb, the opportunity for individuals to earn an income right from their residence – while encouraging tourism and other benefits for their city – is definitely a win-win situation. The just-passed San Francisco law, which legalizes the interests of the home owners’ or tenants’ entrepreneurial spirit over the concerns of its opponents, sounds promising. However, a closer look at the particulars seem to clarify that this law has more regulations foisted upon home owners than is to be desired. First, it does not appear that a landlord can deny the right of a tenant to list his home on Airbnb. Second, the law adds insult to injury by disallowing a home owner to get in to the house sharing business himself, if already renting the unit. We feel the legislation would only be valid if it recognized the rights of the home owner to a.) allow or disallow the listing of his property by a tenant, and b.) step out of the renting game and in to the house sharing game himself. Our bet is that having a long-term tenant that pays his rent on time is worth more than the need to restrict him. And, it’s certainly worth more than the effort involved in house sharing, complete with taxation, registration, limits to duration, and practical requirements. But, ultimately, this needs to be at the discretion of the home owner/landlord, not that of the city’s governing council.


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