Beginning February 1, 2015, San Francisco's new "Air Bnb" law ( San Francisco Ordinance No. 218-14) that permits certain "qualified residents" (landlords or tenants) to rent out their permanent residence on a short-term basis, via websites such as Air BnB. However, there are certain steps and procedures to take before those qualified residents can take advantage of this new law.
Qualified residents need to apply for a Short-Term Residential Rental Number (STRR), through the city's new Registry. Qualified residents can start the application process now. In order to obtain a STRR Number, qualified residents need to meet the following conditions:
Due to the fact that applying for a STRR does not protect qualified residents who are tenants from the wrath of their landlords, those who are tenants should think twice about STRR-ing their unit. The landlords can easily point to a clause in the lease agreement that prohibits subleasing/assignments or that the unit cannot be used for commercial purposes (which an argument can be made that using AirBnB is like a business). Also, for new tenancies, it is expected that new leases will include a new clause that is directly related to this new ordinance. It can be as simple as, "Tenant may not sub-lease/assign the unit in any short-term rental platforms like AirBnB."
This new ordinance is designed to keep the City in-line with the existing/up-coming advances in technologies and the social dynamics of its residences. While there is some good to this new ordinance, enforcement to curb abuses will be difficult. I suspect not a lot of people will apply (unless AirBnB forces hosts to have a STRR Number), and if they do, it will mostly be landlords.