Air B&B Issues

With online bookings at apartment-sharing and travel websites more than quintupling between June 2011 and June 2012, SFAA’s Board of Directors met last week to discuss an industry approach to respond to and deal with tenants who use travel websites to re-rent their apartments out as nightly or short-term hotel rooms.

Current San Francisco law prohibits short term rentals of less than 32 days, and no-subletting clauses in apartment leases prohibit residents from re-renting to others, nightly or otherwise. However, many tenants might not know that by using apartment-sharing websites to generate additional income, they could be violating their lease and several local laws, jeopardizing their housing in the process.

As of last week there were over 2,500 online listings to rent out entire San Francisco apartments on a nightly basis, and SFAA has received an influx of complaints from membership over the past six months. In addition to putting residents at risk for eviction, the rise of apartment-sharing websites puts building security and the health and safety of other residents at risk, disrupts a sense of building and neighborhood community, and limits the availability of our already-limited housing stock.

SFAA’s Board of Directors has come up with Three Recommended Approaches to a resident subletting part or their entire apartment through travel and apartment-sharing websites:

  • 3 Day Notice to Perform Lease Covenant or Quit (Subletting in Violation of the Lease)
    • There must be a restriction on subletting clause in the lease agreement to serve this notice.
    • The 3 Day Notice to Perform Covenant gives the resident an opportunity to cure the lease violation, but if 3 days expire before the tenant cancels bookings and reservations and the unauthorized guest remains in the unit, the owner can proceed with eviction.
  • 3 Day Notice to Quit (Illegal Use)
    • Based on Illegal Use of a residential unit, owners should contact an attorney before issuing a 3 Day Notice to Quit to their residents.
    • 3 Day Notice to Quit for Illegal Use of a residential unit does not provide an opportunity for the resident to rectify the violation of law.
  • Costa Hawkins Rent Increase (Tenant no longer permanently resides in the unit)
    • The Costa Hawkins Notice of Rent Increase is valid until contested, and the burden to challenge the notice is on the resident.
    • Rent increases of more than 10% must be given with a 60 Day Notice, which allows time for the resident to challenge the rental increase. Otherwise, a 30-day period is fine.

Please contact the SFAA office with input, questions and comments about your experiences with apartment-sharing sites. The forms mentioned in this policy communication can be found at the SFAA office, and a list of attorneys is available at or in the back of your monthly magazine.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.