Thursday, July 23, 2015

San Francisco's fall ballot initiative sends short-term rental regs to voters

San Francisco voters will decide the fate of short-term rentals (e.g., Airbnb, etc.) in the city with a coming ballot initiative this fall, which proposes to amend the city's existing regulations.  

Here is the initiative and all of the relevant info from Share Better SF, which sponsored the petition.

Here is a summary from a San Francisco law firm:

Short-Term Residential Rentals. This measure, sponsored by the housing activist group Share Better SF, seeks to restrict short-term rentals in San Francisco.  The regulation of short-term rentals has been a contentious topic over the past few months.  On July 14, 2015, rather than supporting Supervisor Campos’s ordinance to effectively restrict short-term rentals to 60 days per year, the Board of Supervisors voted to uphold existing law and restrict “unhosted” short-term rentals to 90 days per year and allow for unlimited “hosted” short-term rentals.  “Hosted” rentals are where hosts stay in the units while guests are visiting.  “Unhosted” rentals are where hosts are not present in the units while guests are visiting.

If approved, this measure will cap all short-term rentals at 75 nights per year, regardless of whether the rental unit is hosted or unhosted.  Conditional use approval from the Planning Commission would be required to rent a unit on a short-term basis for more than 75 days per year.  If granted, the unit would have to operate as a bed and breakfast establishment.  Hosting platforms like AirBnB will be required to stop listing a unit for short-term rental if the unit has been rented on a short-term basis for 75 days per year.  Hosting platforms will be subject to severe penalties of up to $1,000 per day for violating these rules.  Further, homeowners will be prohibited from renting their in-law units on a short-term basis.  

This initiative also expands the definition of “interested parties” who can sue to enforce the City’s law.  Currently, only persons who live in the same building as a short-term rental unit are deemed “interested parties” with legal standing to sue violators of the law.  If passed, this measure will expand the definition of “interested party” to any person who lives within 100 feet of a unit used for short-term rental, or any housing-related non-profit organization.  

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If passed, this measure would become operative on January 1, 2016.

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/land_use/2015/07/san-franciscos-fall-ballot-initiative-sends-short-term-rental-regs-to-voters.html

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