Subject to Intense Lobbying by airbnb, San Francisco Planning Commission Proposes Toothless airbnb Regulation

On Guard: Planning Commission blew it; Airbnb proposal has no teeth
From the San Francisco Examiner, April 27, 2015

The Planning Commission’s vote Thursday to go soft on Airbnb enforcement requirements pulls the teeth out of short-term housing rental regulations, rendering them worthless. 

And lobbyists working behind the scenes on behalf of Airbnb should also raise eyebrows of San Franciscans who may wonder whom among our city officials have been bought by the tech giant and its allies. 

The Planning Commission voted against recommending requiring short-term rentals (like Airbnb) ensure their customers are legitimate with The City, and to display verification of that online, in order to list rentals. That and other recommendations will now go to the Board of Supervisors, which will likely use the Planning Commission’s vote as political cover to vote for Airbnb’s interests. Without customer verification mechanisms, any laws against Airbnb would be “unenforceable,” Supervisor Jane Kim said at Thursday’s meeting.

Editor’s Comment: The requirement to post the City’s license number in all online advertising is a primary element of the new short-term rental ordinance in Portland, Oregon. Without this provision The City would really have no way of knowing if a listing was licensed or not. And, by definition, any listing mot displaying a permit number is out of compliance. In Portland, Oregon, even David Owen (the airbnb Lobbyist) did not object to the requirement to display permit numbers in Portland.

Airbnb says they want to work with cities on reasonable regulations. airbnb does not want to disclose the name and addresses of the hosts. However, airbnb could decide to only display listings with a permit number and never have to release the host data.  airbnb “talks the talk” but does not “walk the walk” when it comes to working with cities.