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Mayor vetoes 60-day hard cap of Airbnb rentals

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(Natasha Dangond/Special to S.F. Examiner file photo)

Mayor Ed Lee vetoed Thursday San Francisco’s most recent Airbnb law passed by the Board of Supervisors that imposes a hard cap of 60-days on short-term rentals.

Since the legislation, which was introduced by Board of Supervisors President London Breed, didn’t receive the eight-vote veto proof majority last week, the legislation will not become law.

SEE RELATED: SF legislators approve tougher rules for Airbnb

“I’m disappointed, but the mayor has finally agreed to work with me and stakeholders to look at regulations and long term solutions,” Breed told the San Francisco Examiner. “We will develop a working group and make recommendations by the end of February 2017 to address some of the most challenging issues with this industry.”

In issuing his veto, the mayor noted that voters rejected last year Proposition F that would have, among other restrictions, placed a 75-day annual cap on short-term rentals.

Lee argued that Airbnb and other short-term rentals should retain a distinction between hosted and unhosted stays, even though many argue it is nearly impossible to enforce whether someone is at home when hosting. The mayor said, “Most San Franciscans agree that there is a difference” between hosted and unhosted stays.

“I have concluded that this legislation will make registration and enforcement of our short-term rental regulations more difficult and less effective, and risks driving even more people to illegal rent units,” the mayor said in his veto letter.

“Other cities have found balanced solutions, we can too,” Lee said in his veto letter, vowing to work with Breed on improving the regulations and enforcement.

In introducing the legislation, Breed pointed to the lack of registration and need to improve enforcement of the illegal activity, which is blamed for gobbling up precious housing units.

As of October, The City had received a total of 2,207 applications to register, of which 1,717 received approval, and there were 1,655 active registered hosts.

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