Airbnb, San Francisco Reach Deal on Rental Registrations

San Francisco and Airbnb reached a deal Monday in a lawsuit stemming from San Francisco's efforts to try to prevent the short-term rental website from including housing units that violate city rules restricting who can list properties and for how long.

Critics complain Airbnb's business model encourages landlords to take already scarce rentals off the market. Supporters say they couldn't live in San Francisco without the extra money made in rentals.

City officials responded by allowing owners and tenants to rent out their places for short periods, but under strict conditions aimed at protecting the city's housing supply. And they required residents to register their units to help officials monitor their compliance.

Monday's settlement came in a lawsuit filed by Airbnb that sought to block a city ordinance that threatened the company with fines up to $1,000 for every booking it completed for a unit not registered with the city.

Under the deal, residents will have to provide their registration number in order to list a rental on the website.

The company will provide a monthly list of all San Francisco listings to the city, so officials can verify that units are registered. Airbnb will deactivate listings that the city says are invalid.

"This settlement protects our neighborhoods and will help prevent our precious housing stock from being illegally turned into hotels at the expense of evicted or displaced tenants," City Attorney Dennis Herrera said.

Airbnb said in a statement that the agreement "puts in place the systems and tools needed to help ensure our community is able to continue to share their homes."

Airbnb -- the world's largest short-stay online rental company -- is based in San Francisco.

The city requires residents who list units on the site to limit the length of stays to less than 30 nights at a time. Residents can rent out their units...

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