Short-Term Housing Report

Written by Carolyn Lee, Advocacy and Action Co Chair

Tourists Keep Coming, Tempting Residents to Convert Their Housing to Hotels

Short term housing remains as popular as ever in San Francisco.  No doubt some people are making ends meet by renting space in their homes.  An unquantified number of people are buying or renting apartments solely to turn them into hotel rooms.  During a meeting yesterday, San Francisco Board of Supervisors Supervisor Aaron Peskin noted that short term rental activity has removed more than 1,800 housing units from the market.    

Truly short term rentals are legal if the “landlord” registers with the City, pays hotel tax, and files required quarterly reports.  The residence must be the registrant’s permanent residence.  Here is what you, as a short term rental sponsor, may do and not do (from the website of the City’s Office of Short Term Rental):


You may:

  • Rent the residential unit (in all or a portion) while you are not present for a maximum of 90 nights per calendar year.
  • Rent a portion of the residential unit while you are present for an unlimited number of nights per year.
  • Advertise your residential unit on any and all hosting platforms under the condition that you list your registration number at the top of all listings’ descriptions.

You may not:

  • Rent your residential unit or a portion thereof for more than 90 nights per calendar year while you are not also present during the time of the guests’ stay.
  • Rent illegal residential units or unpermitted spaces associated with your property.
  • If you are a tenant and your lease permits you to conduct such activity, you may not make more than your monthly rent from your short-term rental fees charged to guests.  

If you would like to make a short term rental available, or IF YOU BELIEVE A NEIGHBOR IS VIOLATING THE SHORT TERM RENTAL LAW, contact Kevin Guy, Director of the City’s Office of Short Term Rental.  All the information you need, including how to register a complaint, is here: Office of Short Term RentalOr call 415-575-9179. Complaints may be lodged anonymously.  If you believe your Supervisor shares your belief that short term rental laws should be respected, notify your supervisor’s office about your concerns, as well.

Affordable housing in San Francisco is one of the LWVSF’s 2016 program priorities.


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