Vote: Should SF limit Airbnb rentals to 60 days per year or 120?

The debate over short term rentals in San Francisco comes to a head this Tuesday, the 14th, when the San Francisco Board of Supervisors will decide on two amendments to the city’s largely toothless Airbnb law.

The hardline supervisor David Campos wants the board to limit the number of days a homeowner can rent out a unit to 60 per year. Fellow board member Mark Ferrell has presented the board with a more lenient alternative, proposing that the city place a 120 day cap.

The debate over how to regulate short term rentals in housing starved San Francisco has been raging for well over a year. Affordable housing advocates contend that services like Airbnb are worsening the housing shortage, with some landlords buying up available units just to rent them out to short term guests. Of course, many people don’t abuse Airbnb at all, and rent out their units when they are away because they genuinely could use the extra income in order to afford living in San Francisco. And if they are going to be out of town anyways, why not?

The San Francisco Chronicle recently published a five part story on the impact of Airbnb and other similar home sharing sites on the city. It reveals that at least 350 entire homes are listed on Airbnb appear to be full-time rentals. Super hosts – a small group of homeowners who own three or more properties – control almost 20% of all Airbnb listings.

The city’s chief economist not too long ago came out with a study that said a landlord would have to rent out a unit for more than 123 days per year in order to make it worth it to rent out to short term guests rather than actual.

With the Board of Supervisors taking up the question this week, now is the time to make your opinion heard. Should the city limit the number of days a unit can be rented out short term to 60 or 120 days? Or something else entirely? Vote and comment below, your input will be sent to the SF board of supervisors.

Cap Airbnb rentals at 60 days per year
San Francisco Supervisor David Campos has proposed legislation that would limit the number of days hosts could rent out their homes or rooms to 60 a year. This comes in the wake of an explosion of short term rentals, facilitated by companies such as Airbnb. Campos’s legislation would also require short term rental companies to submit quarterly reports on who is renting out units, fine companies up to $1,000 a day for showcasing landlords who haven’t registered with the city, and allow private citizens to sue landlords who exceed the 60 day limit.


Cap the Number of Days an Airbnb Rental can be Rented Out at 120 per year.
This initiative would cap the number of days an Airbnb rental unit can be rented out per year at 120. This is partly to recoup some of the permanent housing stock that has been converted into short term rentals, as well as reduce any other impacts that may be resulting from these types of rentals, (parking, neighborhood character, etc.).


More Civinomics coverage of the Airbnb debate:

Airbnbs in SF: The Saga Moves to the Ballot

Confessions of an Airbnb Kingpin

San Francisco Takes Aim At Airbnb

Regulating Airbnb and other Shared Rentals

1 Comment

  1. […] The opposition argues that for many smaller buildings with limited space and condensed units having an explicit right to a roommate can be overly burdensome on other tenants, and can de facto double the number of people living in a building. It also creates a system by which a huge portion of tenants within a building don’t have to be on any type of lease officially, as they would now have legal standing as a roommate. This makes it harder to prosecute illegal subletting, and deal with un-permitted short term vacation rentals, another problem we have covered as of late. […]

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