San Francisco Short Term Rental Regulation: Returning Neighborhoods To Neighbors

In San Francisco, we’re seeing proof that reining in illegal, risky Airbnbs is WORKING. As the San Francisco Chronicle reports, stricter rules on short-term rentals across the city have stopped homes from becoming hotels. These homes were often gobbled up by big-money commercial operators, driving housing costs up and taking affordable options away from long-time city residents.

It’s time for cities like D.C. to take a look at what San Francisco has done, and implement their own regulations to rein in bad Airbnb actors, while protecting our neighborhoods.

Take a look at some of the stats that show just how much of an impact local regulations can have:


Regulation Shrunk Number Of Short-Term Rental Units

“Airbnb listings fell from 8,740 in August to 4,191 in January, data showed.”

This means that San Francisco has seen a 52 percent decrease in dangerous rental units that aren’t complying with important safety and security regulations. After San Francisco regulated short-term rentals, hosts are required to play by the rules to keep their guests safe.


Regulation Saved Neighborhoods

“Most neighborhoods saw a big drop in listings, with the biggest declines in areas with a larger proportion of renters.”

San Francisco residents who, for too long have seen their community streets saturated with transient strangers, now have their neighborhoods back.


Regulation Drove Prices Down

 “The law of supply and demand suggests that shrinking the number of listings would send prices up. Instead, by eliminating little-used or overpriced listings, San Francisco’s registration push was followed by price drops.”


Regulation Reduced Hotel-Style Rentals

There’s a big difference between someone renting out an extra room and someone renting out multiple buildings or units as illegal hotels. Before San Francisco regulated short-term rentals, these illegal hotels ran rampant. Now, the city has 436 fewer hosts with multiple listings.


Regulation Put More Homes Back On The Market

Sharing services like Airbnb push residents out of their homes and diminish the number of homes available on the market. With new regulations in place, there has been a 54 percent decrease in homes being taken off the market and repurposed as short-term rentals. Now, more people can call San Francisco home!


San Francisco is real life proof that regulating Airbnb and other short-term rentals is good for our communities. Whether it’s ensuring safety compliance, lowering prices, increasing available housing or shutting down illegal hotels, common-sense regulations help our neighborhoods feel like home.

It’s time for cities around the country to follow San Francisco’s lead and promote healthy, safe neighborhoods by regulating short-term rentals. Take action today to call on your city council to lead the way.