To the Editor…

by on October 28, 2015

Your AirBnB article was spot-on. I am a Bernal Heights resident/mortgage payer with a Yes on I and a Tom Temprano poster in my window. I voted for Ellis Act controls. But I can’t support a limit of 65 days a year on renting out a room in our house that previously was “wasted” as a Living Room, since we always socialize in the kitchen. 

 

But the real problem with AirBnB is that they will not report who rents rooms, so the City can see if they are registered– as we are. City Hall came up with a pretty good guarantee against absentee landlords turning multiple units into de facto hotels (and that is the bulk of the problem, not renters subletting for a few days). To register a unit you own, you must file a Homeowner’s Exemption certificate– and that is available for only one unit, the one the owner lives in, no matter how many properties they own. 

 

If AirBnB was forced to report its renters, the law could be fully enforced, and the bad actors forced to repay millions. That is what City Hall needs to do, if the Supervisors have the will to buck Mayor Lee and take AirBnB on directly. Prop F was written too narrowly, and deserves to not pass. After that, I hope that AirBnB gets forced to report– or give up its San Francisco market. 

 

Mark Freeman

 

Filed under: Letters to the Editor

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