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Airbnb purges thousands of San Francisco ads at night


Airbnb deactivated thousands of hosts in San Francisco to agree to the new legislation.

Screenshot of Dara Kerr / CNET

If I expected to rent a room on Airbnb in San Francisco, the profits are much slimmer.

On Wednesday, a new law came into effect requiring all Airbnb hosts to register in the city. As a result, almost half of the Airbnb listings in the city disappeared almost overnight.

Earlier this year, Airbnb says it listed about 11,000 rentals in San Francisco and on Wednesday that number decreased by more than 4,500 rentals.

The data is recent and we are still analyzing it, but it seems that at least 6,000 short-term rental listings were eliminated through this process, "said Kevin Guy, director of the San Francisco Short Term Lease Office , which makes registrations for people Renting through sites like Airbnb, HomeAway and FlipKey. "Only for Airbnb, around 4,760 lists were eliminated."

Airbnb and San Francisco have a long history. launched its San Francisco service in 2008 and the company still maintains its headquarters there, San Francisco was also one of the first cities in the world to work with Airbnb to legalize short-term rentals.

passed a law in 2014 which has gone through several iterations.Finally, the law states that people can rent rooms or their entire house for up to 90 days per year when They are not close. The hosts present during the stays in family homes can rent rooms throughout the year.

But, according to a conciliation agreement reached between Airbnb and San Francisco last May, all hosts must be registered in the city. The deadline to register was Tuesday at midnight. Afterwards, Airbnb was forced to purge all unregistered lists.

"We are proud to have worked with legislators in our hometown to create clear and fair rules to ensure that every announcement on the Airbnb platform complies with local regulations and protect our business in the long term," said the spokeswoman. Airbnb Mattie Zazueta.

San Francisco lawmakers said the registration component is important because it creates a way for the city to enforce its law. The main objective of the city is to prevent people from converting profitable houses into makeshift hotels especially when San Francisco is going through a housing shortage.

Other short-term rental companies, such as HomeAway and FlipKey, also saw a drop in listings this week, according to CBS's local subsidiary, KPIX. For example, FlipKey went from 555 listings to approximately 57 on Wednesday.

Airbnb says that most of the deleted listings on its website were basically inactive. For example, 35 percent of the Airbnb lists in San Francisco were not active in the last six months.

As for hosts that were active but not registered, Airbnb believes that there are a couple of possible explanations. Tenants may not want to ask owners for permission to sublet Airbnb or people do not want to pay the required $ 340 registration fees to the city.

Of all the Airbnb lists, about 2,650 are exempt from registration, Airbnb says. This is because those listings are only for rentals of more than 30 days or are traditional B & Bs or boutique hotels.

The Short Term Rentals Office of San Francisco said there has been a rebound in registration requests in recent months. This week alone, the office received almost 200 requests. Guy said that about 1,000 applications are still under review.

"Some of these applications will be denied," he said. And "the additional lists should be eliminated in the coming months."

Published for the first time on January 18, at 2:05 p.m. PT.
Update, 4:54 pm:
Add information and comments from Kevin Guy, director of the San Francisco Short Term Rentals Office.

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