Home-sharing platforms are an active participant in short term rentals in San Francisco. There is significant debate concerning why they are not participating in the discussion concerning the impact of homesharing on affordable housing. It became evident on March 4th, 2015 at the San Francisco Budget & Financial Subcommittee that the current AirBnB law has effectively allowed AirBnB and the hosting platforms to continue operating free of any liability. Meanwhile, individual hosts, renters, and city officials bear the cost and burden of regulation. While the city and individual hosts are grappling to understand and comply with the law, AirBnB has not engaged in the discussion. Furthermore, it appears that Airbnb and the hosting platforms are the only entities that have the necessary data and documentation to provide assistance with compliance with the law.
Planning Department Staff, AirBnB allies, and community members alike, implored AirBnB to cooperate with all parties to make the AirBnB law more practical. The hosting platform’s absence from the discussion was a significant factor when determining what information exists that can facilitate the discussion.
We at the Hooshmand Law Group have joined community members in encouraging the Board of Supervisors to include enforcement mechanisms concerning home-sharing platforms in an effort to obtain information necessary for enforcement. Hooshmand Law Group currently represents San Francisco tenants in two class action lawsuits against hosting platforms AirBnB and VRBO/Homeaway, concerning damages incurred as a result of these businesses.
For more information contact Mark Hooshmand, Tyson Redenbarger or Idin Kashefipour at (415) 318-5709.