San Francisco Gets Tough on Informal Rental Market
On Monday, April 7th, 2014 the San Francisco Chronicle reported that the City of San Francisco had started cracking down on the informal rental market. According to the article, people in the City who rent out space using services like Airbnb are receiving heavy fines from the City Planning Department. Others are facing eviction for what the City says is “illegal hotel operations”. San Francisco has a ban on short term rentals makeing the use of services like Airbnb against the law. The ban prohibits rentals of less than 30 days without a conditional use permit. The City Planning Department claims it has had a surge in complaints about short term rentals from neighbors. The article quotes the head of code enforcement at the City when describing how the lucrative short term rental market drives city residents to find ways to hide their short-term rental activity and evade the law. Airbnb is working with the City to make changes to the laws banning short term rentals. The service has already started collecting the City’s 14% hotel tax.