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Airbnb Short-Term Rentals Legalized In San Francisco, But With Restrictions

airbnb_1Airbnb, the online platform that allows people to rent out an extra room or their entire home to travelers, will become legal in its headquarters in San Francisco, six years after it first launched.

According to Techcrunch, the city’s board of supervisors voted to legalize and regulate short-term stays in rooms and houses from the Airbnb platform through a controversial piece of legislation that has been two years in the making.

Based on the legislation adopted by the city’s board of supervisors, lodge rentals through Airbnb should not exceed 90 days per year. Another key point is the creation of a public registry, where hosts will have to pay a $50 fee and register with the city Planning Department. They will also have to pay the city’s hotel taxes.

They — not Airbnb — are responsible for certifying that they’re only hosting 90 days a year and for keeping records that prove this.

The decision to legalize Airbnb comes in the midst of one of the city’s most acute housing shortages in history.

The new law will go into effect in February 2015.

According to press reports, Airbnb has yet to solve various regulatory and legal obstacles in both the United States and Europe, where it has come under fire from the hotel industry.

The three founders of Airbnb launched the company in 2008 from an apartment in San Francisco. Today the company is valued at $10 billion, operates in 190 countries and approximately 15 million people have used its services.

According to the Economist, if Airbnb continues to grow at the current pace it will take a 10 percent share of the hotel market in 2016.

In 2013, FastCompany magazine included Airbnb among the 12 most innovative companies.

UK: Ready to Embrace “Airbnb Economy”

In late September, the United Kingdom announced an ambitious plan to embrace the sharing economy and communities like Airbnb.

In an article published in the Telegraph headlined “Government poised to embrace the Airbnb economy,” Business and Enterprise Minister Matt Hancock described the new review. He told the Telegraph “these new business models put money into households the length and breadth of the country.” To read the whole story, press here.

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