Airbnb

Lawsuits go after SF landlords doing illegal short-term apartment rentals

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The San Francisco City Attorney’s Office today filed a pair of lawsuits against local landlords who illegally rent out apartments on a short-term basis, units that had been cleared of tenants using the Ellis Act. Meanwhile, the San Francisco Tenants Unions has hired attorney Joseph Tobener to file more such lawsuits, and he is preparing to file at least seven lawsuits involving 20 units. Read more »

Chiu introduces legislation to regulate Airbnb and short-term housing rentals UPDATED

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After more than a year in development, Board of Supervisors President David Chiu is introducting legislation today to legalize and regulate the short-term housing rentals facilitated by Airbnb and other online companies. But the legislation won’t address all the concerns of Airbnb’s critics — from landlords to tenants to labor to neighborhood associations — and it’s unclear why it took so long to develop.Read more »

Will Airbnb pay its accumulated tax debt to SF?

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So now that Airbnb has agreed to start collecting and paying the transient occupany tax in San Francisco sometime this summer — finally acknowledging that’s the only workable way to meet the tax obligation it shares with its hosts — that leaves open the question of whether this $10 billion corporation intends to pay the tax debt it has accumulated for years while trying to duck its respon Read more »

The sordid saga of Airbnb -- a $10 billion "outlaw middleman" -- continues

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SF-based Airbnb is making news again this week, from the San Francisco Chronicle following up our stories about how landlords are sending eviction notices to tenants who are breaking their leases and local laws in using the short-term rental services to Read more »

AirBNB apartment advertised for "XXX Freakfest" orgy

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A Manhattan comedian put his apartment up for rent on SF-based AirBNB, only later to find his renter advertising out his apartment for an orgy, Gawker reported Friday. While hilarious, the incident highlights key points in the New York attorney general's litigation againts AirBNB. Read more »

Is Airbnb's day of reckoning in SF on its way?

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The San Francisco City Attorney’s Office is finally preparing to take action against the illegal short-term housing rentals facilitated by Airbnb, something we’ve been hearing that the Examiner also reports in today’s issue, an action that would address the company’s apparent stall tactics.Read more »

A radical proposal: Squat Airbnb hosts' homes to create affordable housing

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When I interviewed attorney Joseph Tobener for the story in our current issue on Airbnb being used to take affordable housing units off of the apartment market, he had a interestingly radical idea for get the attention of this scofflaw company and its political supporters, striking a blow for housing justice in the process.

What if hundreds of people, including many who are now homeless, rented out apartments in San Francisco for a night or two and then simply refused to leave?Read more »

Airbnb makes small admission on tax issue, saying its hosts should pay

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Under pressure in San Francisco and New York City for violating local tenant and land use laws and refusing to pay local taxes, Airbnb has finally acknowledged that transient occupany taxes apply to the room rentals it facilitates. But the company still hasn’t taken any public steps to collect the tax, nor has it admitted that it shares this tax debt with its hosts.Read more »

Into thin air

"Shareable housing" is causing apartments to vanish from SF's rental market — yet popular, profitable sites like Airbnb violate local laws

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By Steven T. Jones and Parker Yesko

Airbnb is an audacious corporation, particularly in San Francisco, the city where it's headquartered and where its business model works best. This city is tech-savvy and popular with tourists, but hotels here are expensive, while rent-controlled apartments are still affordable, creating a strong incentive to rent those rooms at a profit through Airbnb.Read more »