Skift Take

Before Airbnb gets IPO-big, they'll need to figure out how to make their rentals legal in big cities like San Francisco or New York where a big chunk of their future will be determined.

hrongs of out-of-towners will swarm San Francisco for Fleet Week, the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival, the first Giant post-season games and every other ridiculously awesome thing going on here this weekend. But as many of those visitors opt to book rooms using innovative apartment sharing sites like AirBnB, VRBO and HomeAway, questions swirl about the legality of a practice critics charge depletes the city’s precious housing stock.

A 1981 amendment to the San Francisco administrative code made it illegal for the owner of an apartment to offer the unit for rent for a period of under 30 days. Penalties for violating the law are fines that can run up to $1,000 per day.

As a result, one local legislator is looking to crack down.


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Tags: airbnb, legal

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