Propositions: Yes on F
Residence-sharing services like VRBO and Airbnb seem like a great deal for homeowners; they allow you to make a little cash from the rental of your home while you’re not using it. The problem that’s arisen is that Airbnb has made the process so easy for owners that people are literally buying houses and running full-time hotels out of them, without any of the licensing and regulation normally involved. This in a city with a severe housing crunch.
San Francisco already has a 90-day limit on unhosted (owner absent) short term rentals, but the administration is doing nothing to enforce it. There is no current limit for hosted rentals. Prop F would establish 75-day limits for both, make hosting companies cease to list them after that point, ensure that short term properties are clearly identified to the public, and make hosting companies answerable to “interested parties” (neighbors, housing organizations) for infractions.
The anti-F campaign, San Francisco for Everyone but Renters, claims that the proposition will hurt homeowners who make a living from the short term rental of part of their residence; in fact, an owner who is operating a bed and breakfast can and should obtain a license. They say it will encourage neighbors to sue neighbors, but what it actually does is allow them to sue the hosting company (neighbors can already sue neighbors). Finally, they argue that the city will lose “millions” in revenue if it shuts down illegal short term rentals, which brings to mind the pile of cash I keep depriving myself of by not selling my sister’s vital organs on the black market. The city is flush, and even if it weren’t, it has no business making illegal money at the expense of struggling renters.
— Jeff Whittington