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Drawing lessons from SF and NY in dealing with Airbnb-type short-term rentals

The Airbnb website is displayed on a laptop on April 21, 2014 in San Anselmo, California.
The Airbnb website is displayed on a laptop on April 21, 2014 in San Anselmo, California.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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Services like Airbnb and VRBO have proven to be a boon for travelers who want cheap lodgings and folks looking to make easy money from renting out their homes. But as the popularity of these short-term rental services grow, problems have arisen. From landlords angry at tenants for subletting their places, to cities struggling to create a regulatory framework, to residents concerned about what these itinerant renters are doing to the fabric of their neighborhoods, how to regulate and tax these short-term rentals have become a major issue in many cities across the country.

On AirTalk yesterday, we heard from LA City Councilman Paul Krekorian on how the city is trying to deal with short-term rentals and how LA might work to collaborate with Airbnb on tax collection. Today, we hear about what San Francisco and New York are doing to address these issues. Is it enough to tax those who rent their homes on sites like Airbnb and VRBO? How do different neighborhood dynamics change perceptions of short term rentals and potential approaches to regulation?


Bradley Silverbush, New York City attorney who specializes in landlord-tenant litigation

Judson True, Legislative Aide for David Chiu, lawmaker and president of the San Francisco City Board of Supervisors. Chiu has proposed a law to regulate services like Airbnb in San Francisco. The full SF Board of Supervisors is expected to take up the legislation in mid-September