The Board of Supervisors has apparently grown tired of short-term rental scofflaws after legalizing the industry two years ago. In a 6-to-2 vote, legislation introduced by Board President London Breed was approved, imposing a cap of 60-days on short term rentals.
Breed, along with supervisors Aaron Peskin, John Avalos, Jane Kim, Eric Mar and David Campos, voted in support of it.
Supervisors Katy Tang and Malia Cohen opposed the law. Supervisor Mark Farrell was excused from the vote since he has business interests related to short-term rentals, and supervisors Scott Wiener and Norman Yee were absent.
It is unclear if when the board votes Nov. 29 on the legislation for a second read how many votes there will be. It would take eight votes to override a mayoral veto and it’s unclear whether Mayor Ed Lee will oppose it.
The vote came despite the fact that Airbnb had seemingly changed it’s tune and reached out to The City Monday saying that it wanted to work collaboratively on a registration system to help with enforcement.
But city officials intimated it was too little too late, not to mention the company, valued at $30 billion, has a pending federal lawsuit filed against The City seeking to overturn a separate regulation adopted by the board earlier this year.
The regulatory scheme is widely acknowledged as not working, with only 1,700 short-term rentals registered with The City as required but an estimate of more than 7,000 hosts alone list properties to rent on Airbnb.
While those listing on Airbnb opposed the 60-day cap, calling it “too extreme,” affordable housing and tenant advocates as well as hotel workers union leaders supported it.
The hard cap is meant to help with enforcement and ensure that it’s not more lucrative to have a unit as a short-term rental as opposed to renting it out to a longer term tenant.
Under the current rules, registered hosts can, without limit, rent out homes as short-term rentals if they remain on-site but only for 90 days annually if they are not present on site as hosts. Some board members have said it was nearly impossible to determine whether someone was living on site.
Those registered with the city as of Tuesday are grandfathered in under the existing rules.