Home-sharing giant Airbnb on Monday vowed to provide its users with information about The City’s registration requirements, breaking its silence after city officials questioned the enforcement of short-term rentals last week.
In a letter from Patrick Hannan, Airbnb’s public policy manager, to Kevin Guy, director of The City’s Office of Short-Term Rentals, the company announced that later this month it will initiate a “comprehensive program” to educate Airbnb hosts of the requirement to register short-term rentals with The City.
After San Francisco legalized short-term rentals in February 2015, a glaring issue with the law remained simply the lack of registration. Mayor Ed Lee last summer announced the creation of Office of Short-Term Rental Administration and Enforcement to help The City streamline applications for its short-term rental registry and better coordinate complaints and enforcement.
The letter from The City on Thursday asked Airbnb and other short-rentals sites to require that hosts display their city-issued registration numbers online. Airbnb did not directly address that in its letter, but instead offered a number of alternatives.
Airbnb wrote that it will use email, direct mail and ongoing social media advertising to share information about registration with hosts.
The letter, obtained by the San Francisco Examiner, also included information about monthly host registration information sessions led by the group Home Shares of San Francisco.
Guy said that he only saw the letter from Airbnb just after Monday’s quarterly hearing on short-term rentals and did not know whether it was in direct response to The City’s letter, he conceded, “I’m guessing it was prompted by the letter we sent out.”
AirBnBhousing crisisKevin GuyOffice of Short Term RentalsPlanningshort-term rentals