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Airbnb Ready to Make Concessions to the City of San Francisco

The city of San Francisco and Airbnb may move their dispute from the courtroom to the negotiating table, as the company indicates willingness to find a "win-win" with the city.
November 16, 2016, 12pm PST | Casey Brazeal | @northandclark
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Lerner Vadim

With the possibility of a 60-day hard cap looming over them and the judge in their case against the city  indicating he's not likely to grant them the injunction they’re seeking against the city’s current law, AirBNB is looking to return to the negotiating table.

According to reporting by Carolyn Said in the San Francisco Chronicle, Airbnb plans to cooperate. Airbnb’s global policy chief, Chris Lehane, told her, “We can sit across the table from the city and address the issues in a win-win scenario.”

Members of the city government said they were "encouraged" by Airbnb's willingness to reopen the matter but were quick to point out that they don’t intend to make concessions. One point of contention has been Airbnb and its partners’ failure to comply with existing laws, "Host registration is a flashpoint in San Francisco. Only about 1,700 out of an estimated 8,000 to 10,000 hosts have registered, undermining the city’s ability to enforce its 21-month-old law." By not registering, hosts avoid the oversight of the city, which, for example, prohibits renters for renting properties other than their own homes.

With the help of the company, the city may be able to make its registration process integrate more smoothly with the Airbnb website. This type of integration already exists in the city of Chicago, where Airbnb is also facing new regulations.

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Published on Monday, November 14, 2016 in San Francisco Chronicle
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