Airbnb Defeats Short-Term Rental Service Restriction Measure in San Francisco
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Airbnb scored a sizable victory in its hometown of San Francisco Tuesday when Proposition F — a measure that would impose tighter restrictions on short-term housing rental services — was defeated 55 percent to 45 percent, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Specifically, the measure would have placed a cap on rentals at 75 days a year regardless of whether they were hosted (resident is at home during the guest's stay).
At the moment, city law limits unhosted rentals to 90 days a year. However there are no limits on hosted rentals.
Beyond rental limitations, if passed, the proposition would have opened Airbnb and other short-term rental companies including VRBO and HomeAway up to potential lawsuits. The measure would have allowed neighbors and landlords to sue the companies if found to be in violation of the 75-day limitation.
"No on Proposition F" Campaign Manager Patrick Hannan told the Times that the measure "disingenuously asserts [that] it addresses the housing crisis," adding that "thousands of apartments will not suddenly become available."
Airbnb was able to raise significant funds to oppose the measure, contributing $8 million to the cause compared to $800,000 Proposition F supporters were able to pull in.
While the triumph only pertains to 0.3 percent of Airbnb's global inventory, according to Beyond Pricing, the result certainly bodes well for it and other short-term rental companies if they face similar legislation proposals in the future.
"The battle in San Francisco is more about setting a precedent for reasonable legislation than it is about Airbnb's bottom line," Beyond Pricing Co-Founder Ian McHenry told CNBC.
Tuesday's election result coincided with Airbnb's partnership announcement with American Express which allows travelers to sign up for Airbnb and get authenticated through their American Express login credentials as well as utilize membership rewards points for Airbnb stays.
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