San Francisco and Airbnb have reached an agreement to settle the short-term rental company's lawsuit against its home city.
The settlement ends a court battle over a San Francisco ordinance that holds short-term rental companies liable for listings that are not registered with the city, as required by law. Under the settlement, hosts will be able to register with the city on the Airbnb or HomeAway platforms.
"That goes to our desire to have certainty, for hosts to have visibility and a clear understanding of what they're supposed to do to comply with the existing regulatory structure in San Francisco," said Chris Lehane, head of global policy and communications for Airbnb.
Currently, San Francisco residents hoping to rent out their homes or apartments on a short-term rental website are required to register in person with the city. Encouraging and enforcing registration has remained a challenge for the city, and estimates show that less than a quarter of San Francisco hosts have actually signed up.
Hoping to push short-term rental platforms to become more involved in overseeing registration, San Francisco supervisors passed an ordinance holding platforms criminally liable if they posted bookings from unregistered hosts. Airbnb and HomeAway challenged that law in federal court last June.