A new San Francisco law just forced Airbnb to remove nearly 50% of its listings in the city

Airbnb removed nearly 5k listings of short-term hosts who failed to pay a $250 fee to register with the city -- 2k of them overnight.

January 22, 2018

Last Tuesday, the latest law regulating San Francisco Airbnb hosts officially went into effect — as a result, 4.8k of the platform’s 11k listings have disappeared since September (2k of them overnight).

The law requires that all short-term rental hosts pay a $250 fee to officially register with the city and mandates that Airbnb remove listings from anyone who failed to do so.

San Francisco and Airbnb have a long-standing beef

Airbnb has continuously sparred with SF over rental regulations since it launched nearly 10 years ago.

Back in 2014, the city made it illegal for “absent tenants” to rent their properties short-term for more than 90 days per year.

This eventually resulted in a settlement: all hosts on Airbnb and other short-term rental platforms would have to register with the city by midnight on 01/17/2018 — and companies with unregistered hosts would face fines of up to $1k per day.

Hence, the “great purge”

A little over half of SF’s Airbnb hosts registered, but the rest have slowly been removed over the course of several months, with the remaining 2k abruptly taken down on Tuesday.

San Francisco is in the throes of a housing crisis, marked by both a shortage of new units and skyrocketing rent prices (median rent for a one-bedroom apartment is now more than $3.5k per month).

With this new requirement in place, the city hopes to prevent short-term rental hosts from snapping properties off the market and Airbnb-ing them full time, further crimping the limited supply and further driving up rent.

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