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San Francisco moves towards legalizing Airbnb

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New law will come with a variety of requirements for potential hosts

A new law that legalizes short-term rentals like those seen on Airbnb received initial approval from the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, who voted seven-to-four on the legislation that is slated to take effect in February 2015San Francisco Business Times writes that the ruling will also introduce a slew of requirements.

pay taxes, have at least $500,000 in liability insurance coverage

Permanent residents will be able to rent out their primary residences, but not locations currently unoccupied by the potential host, according to a column written by board president David Chiu. This is to prevent landlords from evicting tenants to create makeshift hotels. Additionally, potential hosts will need to register with the Planning Department, pay taxes, have at least $500,000 in liability insurance coverage, and must abide by building safety rules and rent-control laws.

San Francisco Business Times writes that residents will also need to have a business license, a permit from the city, and to have occupied their homes for 275 days out of the last year. Critics are still unhappy with the new law, which Airbnb describes as "a great victory." Several amendments have reportedly been put forth including proposals to exclude in-law units and limiting room rentals to 90 days or less, all of which have been rejected. Chiu's ordinance will undergo a second vote before it is finally relayed to the mayor's office for a signature.