Airbnb launches new host registration system in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO (BCN)-- Following a lawsuit settlement reached with San Francisco earlier this year, the short-term rental company Airbnb today launched a new registration system that will require local hosts to prove they have registered with the city.

The company, along with other short-term rental services, in May agreed to require hosts to input a city registration number when listing properties, and provide a monthly list of all San Francisco listings so that city officials can verify registrations.

The settlement also included an agreement to make it easier for hosts to register by letting them do so right on the sites, in response to company concerns that the city's requirements were too onerous.

"The new registration system provides the City of San Francisco with the tools it needs to enforce its short-term rental laws, while providing our hosts an easy way to register," Airbnb officials said in a statement. "We look forward to working closely with city officials in the coming months to fully implement the registration system and to ensure it has time to work for our host community."

A 2015 city law requires short-term rental hosts to register with the city, obtain a business license and observe limits on the number of days a unit can be rented.

City ordinances also prohibit multiple listings by the same host, require that hosts be permanent residents in the unit they are renting out and prohibit the use of affordable units with income restrictions for short-term rentals.

However, city officials had struggled to enforce the laws, with many hosts choosing not to register.

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