Penn State Study: 300 Airbnb Landlords in SanFran Making $44 million – Invoking Legal Issues

Penn State Study: 300 Airbnb Landlords in SanFran Making $44 million – Invoking Legal Issues


Airbnb – a short term rental platform has been a boon for the travelers but been a bane for the hotel industry as it shakes the whole space up.

Now some of Airbnb competitors have come together and come up with a study (by researchers from Penn State’s Center for Hospitality Real Estate Strategy) of how Airbnb is creating a whole host of issues.

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In just San Francisco, for example, 300 “full time” hosts earned $44 million (22% of total Airbnb revenues) and 1600 hosts leased out two or more units and made $62 million.

In San Francisco, the Airbnb‘s landlords’ business option without registering themselves as “hotels” becomes illegal due to the local laws.

Last year San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera pledged to crack down on illegal home-share activity on Airbnb, HomeAway, VRBO and other sites, suing landlords he accused of violating the city’s short-term rental restrictions. In May, the city secured a $276,000 settlement from two landlords accused of kicking out long-term tenants to convert their property to a short-term rental. As of last February, San Francisco requires landlords to register with the city if they rent all or part of their residences for periods of less than 30 nights. And in November, Airbnb narrowly avoided Proposition F, which would have limited vacation rentals to 75 days a year and imposed other restrictions.

There is another issue that is added on by Airbnb – it is making the landlords push out the long term lessors and do short term rentals – which is more profitable!

Full-time Airbnb landlords exacerbate affordable housing shortages, according to John O’Neill, director of Penn State’s Center for Hospitality Real Estate Strategy, who co-authored the study.

“Tenants are being pushed out of their homes and their communities and have nowhere else to go,” he said Wednesday on a media conference call.

One feels that ultimately Airbnb will win the fight due to the power of the whole idea.  But the tussle will throw up some interesting things and changes in law and the way the industry works.  Meanwhile, if you haven’t tried Airbnb – please go ahead and try it.

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