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Airbnb Your Home in San Francisco–What You Need to Know

Airbnb is a great way to make passive income in San Francisco–and many city dwellers are aware of this. Since Airbnb launched, San Francisco neighborhoods like The Mission, SoMa, NoPa, Bernal Heights, and Noe Valley have the most list listings on the short-term rental site. In a city where hotels are pretty expensive–and limited–there’s nothing short of a demand for this service. Plus, with rent prices increasing these days, San Franciscans only have something to gain with it. However, new restrictions have raised concerns for existing and potential Airbnb hosts, and many have questions on how they can legally–or illegally–Airbnb their apartment. Based on our research, here are the most important rules to know if you want to Airbnb your home in San Francisco.

You Must Be a San Francisco Resident

According to an ordinance that went into effect in February 2015, owners and renters must be San Francisco residents and live in the city 275 days per year. This averages to be a little over nine months.

You Can Only Rent Your Primary Residence

Airbnb hosts must register for a permit from the Office of Short-Term Rental which includes a permit fee of $250 every two years. As a part of this process, hosts are asked to obtain a city business license. Once your permit has been approved, it will be listed in a registry.

The 90-Day Rule

In addition to placing a limit on how many days you must reside at the residence, there’s also a limit on how many days a year you can Airbnb your home. According to the law, you can’t rent your property for more than 90 days a year. If you do and are caught doing so, you’ll be charged a daily fine of $484–and that’s just for first offenders. If you’re a repeat offender, you’ll be charged $968 a day.

Rent Control Costs Should Be Followed

In what sort of defeats the purpose of all of this, Airbnb hosts–when renters–are required to uphold their rent control. If hosts are found charging more than they pay their landlord they can be fined $1,000 per day and have their property unlisted on the site.

Tenants Must Inform Landlords

Finally, according to the law, hosts who are renters are required to notify their landlords that they’re using Airbnb. If a lease agreement prohibits the use of Airbnb, they can be evicted. However, a 30-day notice must be given after the first violation. There you have it; the rules when you Airbnb your home in San Francisco. While not everybody follows them; it’s important to know what you’re getting yourself into. If you want more information, check out the ordinance online here. Last but not least, if you are up for Airbnb-ing your home in San Francisco and need temporary storage, check out our valet storage service.