Booking an Airbnb in San Francisco just got a lot more difficult for business travellers, as the company has deleted 4,760 listings in the Bay Area in the past few months.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the purge has taken about half of Airbnb’s local listings offline.
The listings were culled as a new city law went into effect requiring all Airbnbs, HomeAway and VRBO properties, and other vacation rentals to register with San Francisco’s Office of Short-Term Rentals. Airbnb deleted listings of properties that are subject to the law but failed to register.
Guest reservations at Airbnb properties that failed to register with the city by last week’s deadline were cancelled. “All guests impacted by the cancellations will be notified, offered a refund and our agents will be available to assist as necessary,” according to an Airbnb spokesperson.
The city short-term rentals office has received 2,170 registrations, with an additional 1,000 or so pending verification. Among Airbnb’s surviving listings are 2,650 hotels, legal bed and breakfasts, and properties that rent for 30 days or longer, exempting them from the law.
Airbnb launched in San Francisco in 2008, and according to its website has over three million listings worldwide.