In May, homeshare companies Airbnb and HomeAway settled their lawsuit against San Francisco over a 2015 law that restricted the amount of time people could rent their residential spaces and required registration and tax collection, among other things. The ordinance was sponsored by supervisors David Campos and Aaron Peskin.
Both companies praised the truce in the battle, as did Mayor Lee, who said he is “pleased with the mediated settlement. … This protects our rental housing stock while allowing residents who follow the rules to gain income to help make ends meet.”
VentureBeat noted that there are “currently 2,100 registered short-term rental hosts in San Francisco according to the city, but Airbnb reportedly has more than 8,000 listings in the area.”
Doug Engmann, a co-founder of housing advocacy group ShareBetter SF, said the agreement was a “game changer.” He said that if other cities took similar action regarding short-term rental companies, “it could have a material impact on the company’s revenue and $30 billion valuation. Venture capitalists, private equity funds and institutional investors should be having second thoughts about an enterprise with a business model that ignores local laws, deprives working families of needed housing, and disrupts the lives of tenants, property owners, and neighbors.”