The home sharing company has announced that between September 2015 and January 2016 it purged 218 listings from “unwelcome commercial operators” in San Francisco. These “unwelcome commercial operators” were Airbnb hosts who listed more than one whole home for rent at a time. The company is investigating another 671 whole-home listings from 288 hosts, which they say could be illegal rentals as well. Airbnb has also announced that its implementing a new policy that will allow only one whole-home listing on a short term basis for hosts in San Francisco.
The move comes at a time of increasing tensions between the company and residents of the city, which already has a severe housing shortage. In November a ballot initiative sought to make it harder to rent vacation homes, like those found on Airbnb, in the city. However, the measure was defeated, in large part thanks to the $8 million Airbnb spent fighting it.MG