Mayor Lee Announces New “One-Stop Shop” Office of Short-Term Rental Administration & Enforcement
Planning Department Also Initiates Immediate Enforcement Actions Against Violators of Current Short-Term Rental Regulations
Mayor Edwin M. Lee today announced the creation of the new Office of Short-Term Rental Administration and Enforcement, funded in the Mayor’s FY 15-17 budget, to create a “one-stop” shop and centralized location to streamline applications for the City’s short-term rental registry and more aggressively coordinate complaints and enforcement of the City’s short-term rental regulations.
“Many San Franciscans can afford to stay in our City because they rent out their home or spare bedroom occasionally,” said Mayor Lee. “The short-term rental of a primary residence brings in extra money for many families and residents and brings new visitors and tourists to our neighborhood small businesses, but we have regulations in place to protect our housing supply and neighborhood character. This new centralized ‘one-stop’ shop will streamline the registration process for the vast majority of law-abiding residents and coordinate aggressive enforcement against those who ignore or violate our short-term rental regulations.”
“The creation of the new Office of Short-Term Rental Administration and Enforcement will streamline the registration process for hosts and allow the Planning Department to be laser-focused on going after the most egregious violators of our short-term rental law,” said Supervisor Mark Farrell, Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee. “I am pleased to propose and support the creation of the new Office with Mayor Lee, so that we can incentivize hosts to be good actors under the law who are looking to earn extra income in one of the most expensive City’s in the country while targeting our coordinated resources and efforts towards punishing the bad actors and commercial users who flout the law and contribute to our housing crisis.”
As of February 1, 2015, San Franciscans may legally rent their primary residential unit for periods of less than 30 nights with a valid Short-Term Residential Rental Registration. The new Office of Short Term Rental Administration and Enforcement will be staffed by the City Administrator’s Office and the Planning Department. The Office of Short-Term Rental Administration and Enforcement will open on July 30, 2015 and be located at the Planning Department at 1650 Mission Street.
“We will be looking to streamline the process for the many who just want to follow the law and get a short-term rental permit,” said City Administrator Naomi Kelly. “At the same time, we’ll be working closely with the Planning Department and other departments as needed to act on complaints and aggressively pursue law-breakers. I urge San Francisco residents who are engaging in short-term rentals or looking to in the future to apply for the registry and make sure you’re following the law.”
Staff from the Planning Department will lead enforcement efforts by investigating alleged violations and possibly impose fines as allowed under the City’s current short-term rental regulations. On Tuesday, June 30, the Department issued 15 violation letters for approximately 70 units. Those issued will have an opportunity to respond at an upcoming enforcement hearing in August. The alleged violations include renting units with no primary resident and multiple units in large apartment buildings solely used as vacation rentals.
“San Franciscans have the right to apply for a short-term residential rental registration to rent out their primary residential unit, whether it is their entire unit or spare bedroom, on an occasional basis,” said Planning Director John Rahaim. “But in working with the City Administrator’s Office, we are actively pursuing enforcement action against violators, especially those who are taking much-needed housing units off the market.”
Those who wish to file a complaint with the Planning Department, go to: sf-planning.org.