Airbnb to limit short-term rentals in some cities

Airbnb to limit short-term rentals in some cities
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Airbnb pledged on Wednesday to crack down on short-term rentals in certain cities where they have a negative effect on the larger housing market.

“In cities that have not established rules for home sharing, and where housing prices and availability are a critical issue, we will work with our community to help prevent short-term rentals from impacting the availability and cost of permanent housing for city residents,” said the company in a blog post rolling out what it's calling the “Airbnb Community Compact.”

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The document emphasizes the company's willingness to work with cities rather than brawl with regulators.

“We are 100 percent committed to being constructive partners with regulatory agencies and policymakers,” Airbnb said in the blog post. “Our community wants to pay their fair share. We want home sharing to help people stay in their homes.”

In the document, the company said it will increase transparency, work closely with regulators in the cities where it operates and work to police abuses on its platform.

“Airbnb will work to educate hosts and guests about the home sharing needs and rules in cities so they are empowered to engage in home sharing practices that are in the best interests of the cities they call home,” the company said in the document.

But the company also said that it believed its "community has demonstrated that it can self-regulate."

The document comes on the heels of an electoral battle over Airbnb's impact on San Francisco’s housing market.

The company spent more than $8 million to defeat a ballot measure known as Proposition F that would have limited the number of nights a year that properties on the service could be rented.

Backers of the measure said that it was a way to restrict the service’s effect on a tight housing market. But its opponents included Mayor Ed Lee, who is considered an ally to tech, and other elected officials.

The company said right after the victory that it would establish clubs to organize its hosts around the country for political action, leading to questions whether it was planning to be more pugilistic with regulators and lawmakers.