Airbnb touts policy proposals as new regulations loom

October 19, 2016 12:41 PM EDT

A 3D printed people's models are seen in front of a displayed Airbnb logo in this illustration taken, June 8, 2016. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration


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By Dan Levine

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Airbnb promoted a series of policy proposals on Wednesday that the home rental company said would address concerns raised by officials in New York and San Francisco over how the company operates.

Lawmakers in both cities have accused Airbnb of exacerbating an affordable housing crisis by encouraging property owners to remove long-term rentals from the market.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is currently considering a bill that would fine hosts $7,500 for listing units on the site that run afoul of local rental limits. He has until Oct. 29 to approve the law or veto it.

San Francisco passed an ordinance earlier this year that would fine Airbnb and similar services $1,000 each time they process a booking from an unregistered host. Airbnb asked a San Francisco federal judge to strike down that law, and a ruling could come at any time.

In a statement released on Wednesday, Airbnb touted a company policy that allows hosts to register only one home on the platform. The platform will automatically prevent hosts in New York and San Francisco from listing multiple units starting Nov. 1.

"This will help to ensure that home sharing does not remove permanent housing from the rental market," the company said.

Additionally, Airbnb proposed establishing a "three strikes" policy that would bar a host from the platform if they repeatedly violate local regulations.

Airbnb also said it has worked with several cities and states around the United States to collect lodging taxes, and proposed that online platforms be authorized to collect and remit taxes from guests on their hosts' behalf.

(Reporting by Dan Levine; Editing by Bill Trott)



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