Airbnb & San Francisco settle Lawsuit over Local rental Law

Airbnb and San Francisco settled a lawsuit that had forbidden the company from taking bookings from hosts who have not registered their homes.  Officials all over the United States have fought to maximize tax collection on rental units which have ignited legal issues with tech advocates that claim interest firms should not be hindered by local rules on what they can publish. 

In a statement released Monday, Dennis Herrera, San Francisco City Attorney stated that the settlement will demand that new Airbnb hosts register with the city before posting rentals online.  Airbnb will produce a platform for hosts to register with the city through its website.  There will be a monthly list of San Francisco listings so the city can verify whether a host has registered. 

Invalid registrations in San Francisco will be cancelled in the future and the listings deactivated.  Chris Lehane, Airbnb global policy chief said the settlement requires the mayor and the city’s board of supervisors to endorse it. 

“For us it’s really, really important that we continue to put these kinds of partnerships in place,” Lehane stated.  “We fundamentally do believe that platforms need to take responsibility.” 

The San Francisco ordinance prevented Airbnb to collect fees from booking services for rentals that were not properly registered.  Airbnb makes money by charging service fees on bookings.  Herrera said the settlement was “a turning point when it comes to enforcement.”

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