CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again


Airbnb gets a victory from San Francisco voters

A ballot initiative in the city would have imposed restrictions on short-term housing rentals.

Airbnb's fight to defeat a controversial proposal on short-term rentals has paid off.


Election Day has come and gone in San Francisco, and it's business as usual for Airbnb.

That wasn't guaranteed. A ballot measure in the city had sought to impose restrictions on the kind of short-term housing rentals that are Airbnb's bread and butter.

That measure, known as Proposition F, focused on whether homeowners should have to register their homes as rental properties and face restrictions in how many days they could rent their homes. It was defeated in Tuesday's voting by a margin of 55 percent against to 45 percent for.

Based in San Francisco and operating around the world, Airbnb offers people a website through which they can list, find and rent short-term lodging.

Critics of the company, including regulators, unions and housing advocates, have argued that Airbnb is responsible for tighter housing markets, with landlords taking units off the market to capitalize on short-term rentals instead. That's an especially sore subject in San Francisco, one of the most expensive cities in the US for renting or buying real estate.

Supporters of Proposition F claimed that short-term rentals turn homes into year-round hotels, according to SFGate. The initiative would, in part, have capped short-term private rentals of homes and apartments in the city to 75 nights a year.

Airbnb and its backers, meanwhile, say the service is a boon to homeowners, who can make money to help pay their bills.

"Voters stood up for working families' right to share their homes and opposed an extreme, hotel-industry-backed measure," Airbnb spokesman Christopher Nulty said in a statement following the election results. "This victory was made possible by the 138,000 members of the Airbnb community who had conversations with over 105,000 voters and knocked on 285,000 doors. The effort showed that home sharing is both a community and a movement."

Airbnb spent a reported $8 million in an effort to defeat the proposition.

Two weeks before the election, Airbnb angered many San Francisco residents with an ad campaign that sought to advise the city on how to spend the tax dollars collected from the company. Airbnb quickly pulled the ads and apologized to the public and to its own employees.