Airbnb Will Crack Down on Hosts With Multiple Listings in San Francisco, but Not Portland

Both cities bar commercial operators, but the company is moving to address the problem in San Francisco and New York.

Facing intensifying political pressure in New York and San Francisco, the short-term rental company Airbnb is rolling out plans to block hosts from listing more than one rental property in those two cities.

But the company won't institute the changes to its platform in Portland.

San Francisco and Portland both have rules requiring that people listing short-term rentals live in the home at least nine months out of the year.

In San Francisco, the company will roll out the policy beginning November 1, the San Francisco Chronicle reported this morning. In New York, the company will roll out the policy on a similar time frame, but go, further offering to permanently bar repeat offenders, the New York Daily News reported.

In Portland there will be no change for Airbnb hosts.

"We are rolling out this policy in San Francisco and New York," says Airbnb spokeswoman Laura Rillos.

"We will continue investing significant resources into promoting responsible hosting in Portland, including educating hosts about city regulations and proactively removing unwelcome commercial listings from our site."

Airbnb and short-term rental companies have come under pressure in cities facing rising rents. Airbnb alone has removed more than 1,700 units of housing in Portland, according to an analysis by the watchdog Inside Airbnb for WW.

It's not difficult to find Airbnb hosts in Portland flouting the city's rules against hosts with multiple listings. WW found dozens two years ago, and identified five blatant scofflaws this summer.

Related: Portland's short-term rental rules are such a joke that an Airbnb executive ignored them.

In San Francisco, the company is coming under intensifying political pressure with City Hall considering new regulations that would limit rentals to just 60 days a year, the Chronicle noted.

San Francisco already has laws on the books, so that they can charge the company steep fines and levy criminal penalties if it allow hosts to book without being registered with the city. Airbnb is suing over the provision.

In New York, the legislation awaiting the governor's signature would raise the fine for people who list illegal short-term rentals to $7,500, the Daily News noted.

There's also plenty of skepticism from tenant groups in Portland and San Francisco that barring multiple hosts will make a difference. The company could be doing far more, they argue, including making other restrictions on their platform.

"They should not allow full residences to be listed for more than 90 days. The end," says Portland Tenants United organizer Margot Black. "It's literally one line of code."

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