Posts Tagged ‘rental’

Prop F Update: Let’s Look at Both Sides of SF Proposition F (2015), the Airbnb Law – Fixing Frisco’s Broken Short-Term Rental Mess

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015

I’ll tell you, I don’t care what you do or where you rest your noggin at night. Now I think it’s noteworthy when I spot Airbnb users in the Western Addition or the Sunset or wherever, ’cause they stand out (without realizing it) like a sore thumb, but I don’t have anything against tourists milling about, you know, per se. They ask me about parking laws. I try to help out. I tell them which way to curb their tires, ’cause a lot of them just don’t get it. And I know people who use Airbnb, and I know people who make some money letting rooms and units via Airbnb and the VRBO.

So that’s where I stand. Now let’s take a look at Prop F via ShareBetterSF:

1. Limits short-term rentals to 75 nights per year, regardless of whether a ‘host’ is present

THIS LOOKS GOOD TO ME. THE WHOLE “HOST PRESENT” THING APPEARS TO BE A GIANT LOOPHOLE COOKED UP BY AIRBNB ITSELF IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE OFFICE OF SUPERVISOR DAVID CHIU. THE RULES THAT HE AND AIRBNB CAME UP WITH ARE A HUGE, UNWORKABLE MESS, IMO.

2. Requires quarterly reports to the Planning Department on the number of nights a unit is rented to tourists

IF YOU’RE RENTING OUT A ROOM OR A UNIT, YOU’D NEED A REGISTRATION NUMBER AND YOU’D NEED TO REPORT HOW MANY TIMES YOU DID IT EVERY THREE MONTHS. SOUNDS PRETTY SIMPLE TO ME. SOUNDS A LOT SIMPLER THAN, SAY, THE EXTRA WORK YOU’LL HAVE TO DO WHEN ANNUAL TAX TIME COMES. IF THIS IS TOO MUCH OF A BURDEN ON YOU, THE PERSON RENTING OUT ROOMS, PERHAPS YOU SHOULDN’T BE IN THIS BIDNESS?

3. Fines ‘hosting platforms’ (like Airbnb, VRBO, and HomeAway) for listing unregistered units

BAM. IF YOU HAVE A REG. NUMBER, YOU CAN LIST. IF YOU DON’T, YOU CAN’T.

4. Provides other building tenants, neighbors and neighborhood associations with notice when a unit is registered as a short-term rental

SO SFGOV WOULD SEND OUT A BRACE OF LETTERS EVERY TIME A UNIT GETS REGISTERED – THIS IS A ONE-TIME DEAL, RIGHT? AGAIN, DOES THIS SEEM SO UNREASONABLE?

5. Allows other building tenants & neighbors to go to court to protect their rights to the quiet enjoyment of their homes when the City fails to enforce the law

SO THERE ARE YOUR TEETH. THIS IS WHY AIRBNBER’S WILL ACTUALLY PAY ATTENTION TO SF PROP F 2015.

[INTERMISSION]

NOW LET’S HEAR FROM AIRBNB::

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1. WELL, YEAH, I GUESS, AIRBNB – YOU COULD CHARACTERIZE THINGS THAT WAY. BUT LET’S SAY AN AIRBNBER FROM WALNUT CREEK BUYS A BUILDING IN SF AND THEN AIRBNBS ALL THE UNITS 365/366 DAYS A YEAR – THIS IS WHAT THE PROP F PEOPLE WOULD CALL “RUNNING A HOTEL.” IF I WERE SAID BUILDING OWNER LIVING IN WALNUT CREEK, I’D BE VERY AFRAID OF PROP F, SO I’D FOLLOW THE NEW RULES, RIGHT? IS THAT SO BAD?

2. WELL, I LIVE IN SF, AIRBNB. SO I DON’T THINK YOU’RE TALKING TO ME. BUT i’LL SAY THAT I THINK THE “DATA” WE’RE TALKING ABOUT IS HOW MANY TIMES A QUARTER AIRBNBERS ARE IN BUSINESS, SO NO BIG DEAL, RIGHT? SO FAR, YOU’RE NOT REALLY SCARING ME AWAY FROM PROP F HERE, AIRBNB. LET’S SOLDIER ON…

3. SFGOV AND AIRBNB HAVE MADE A HASH OF THIS PROCESS SO FAR. THE CURRENT SYSTEM ISN’T WORKING, SORRY. THIS IS WHY PROP F QUALIFIED FOR THE BALLOT, RIGHT?

4. HEY, AREN’T MOST IN-LAW UNITS IN TOWN ALREADY “BANNED?” I THINK SO. I THINK IT’S BECAUSE THEY AREN’T CODE COMPLIANT. WHY SHOULDN’T WE LEGALIZE THESE UNITS FIRST, IF THAT’S WHAT WE WANT TO DO, AFORE WE START WORRYING ABOUT HOW MUCH MONEY WE CAN MAKE OFF OF THEM? AND IF THIS IN-LAW ISSUE IS SUCH A BIG CONCERN A FEW YEARS DOWN THE ROAD AFTER THE POSSIBLE LEGALIZATION OF THESE UNITS, WELL, THEN WE CAN VOTE AGAIN, RIGHT? PERHAPS THIS WILL BE A BIT CUMBERSOME, BUT THAT’S WHAT YOU GET WHEN YOU HAVE A REGULATORY CAPTURE SUCH AS THE ONE WE’RE IN.  

So, IDK, am I missing something here? What am I missing? Any beef anybody has against Prop F is displaced anger – the people who created the current situation are the ones responsible. Oh what’s that, Airbnb, you say the rules from Prop F are “too extreme?” Well, that’s because, unlike the current regs,  you didn’t write them. See how that works, Airbnb? Perhaps you should have cooked up a fairer set of rules for yourself, and then Prop F never would never have gone on the ballot, right?

So tell me, Gentle Reader, what am I missing here?

Otherwise, I’m a-voting YES ON PROP F.

“CAR FREE” & “CAR SHARE” – What SFGov _Really_ Means When It Uses These Terms – One Weird Trick!

Thursday, July 16th, 2015

Here you go – “CAR-FREE,” as seen at the western end of JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park:

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Is being without a car a good thing? IDK. The neutral approach would be something like NO CARS, or NO CAR DAY or NO CARS DAY. We should think about a befuddled foreigner in a rental car – what should be our message to him/her? Here’s how other cities do it, you know, in a politics-free manner:

no-cars

See how that works? Yeah, JFK is a road through GGP, and yeah, people have been driving cars on it for well-nigh more than a century, but today is different. Today, this particular day, cars are banned. It’s NO CARS DAY. That’s the message you want to send, IMO. How about instructing these poor souls to USE FULTON OR LINCOLN instead? I mean we know they want to go west, so why not ease their befuddlement? Moving on…

To this – “CAR SHARE.” Did you know that “the sharing economy isn’t about sharing at all?” Let’s check the Harvard Business Review:

“When ‘sharing’ is market-mediated — when a company is an intermediary between consumers who don’t know each other — it is no longer sharing at all.”

So “car share” should be rental car or rent-a-car or car hire or something like that. Just anything but this:

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Now why should SFGov favor one rental car company over another, why it should actively be promoting the so-called “sharing economy” is a mystery to me, but oh well.

Oh, here’s something, from Gerry Shih of Reuters:

Conway and Lee have an exceptionally close relationship.”

That’s appointed Mayor Ed Lee and longtime Republican Ron Conway.

Perhaps whoever ordered these stencils was trying to please Ron Conway…

What It’s Like Paying $100 to Drive a $2500 Electric Motorcycle/Bike About San Francisco for Four Hours

Tuesday, June 30th, 2015

You didn’t see this type of thing…

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…back in the day.

As seen on Haight Street:

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I could think of worser ways for you tourist types to spend your time/money. This would seem to be similar but more expensive than touring about the city on an open-air double-decker bus, on a dreaded sunny day…

Tourists Riding Rented Bikes on Fell Street: Which is Worse, Cruising on the Left Side or the RIght Side?

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

Up first we have the Left Side candidates, who have decided to go without smellmets:

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Cf. the Right Side candidates, spotted a few days later:

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I’m thinking I prefer the right side option, as your typical driver (which of course you should assume just got released from prison a week ago, and is uninsured, and is driving an unregistered vehicle) would be less surprised to see you there.

Mind you, none of these bicyclists was “taking the lane” improperly – all were biking legally.

But foolishly, IMO.

The best option would have been the Panhandle Bike Path, which is just to the left of the left lane of Fell, but these tourists didn’t seem to be aware of its existence.

Perhaps their tourist maps led them astray…

How is This Official SFGov SFMTA Red-Painted Parking Space Labelled “CAR SHARE” If It’s Only for Avis RENTAL CAR?

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

Help me out here, Gentle Reader. This formerly public parking space is now a private parking space, one that’s being rented out to Avis Rent a Car System, LLC, aka the Avis Budget Group.

But Avis isn’t actually “sharing” cars with you, it’s renting cars to you, right?

Is this what they call “framing?” Why is the SFMTA “framing” issues for Avis this way? Was Ron Conway involved with this? David Chiu?

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I don’t get it.

So, just as soylent green is people, Zipcar is Avis, and CAR SHARE is CAR RENTAL, right?

What am I missing here?

Forget About “Car Share” – What You Need to Do is Rent a Ferrari from Club Sportiva – An “Experience Beyond Ownership”

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

Here’s a Club Sportiva delivery back in the day, on Market Street:

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An “experience beyond ownership,” whatever that meant.

Now here’s another on 19th Avenue, just recently:

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So what, your wife spends $1000-something bucks to have two bros deliver a Lambo to your office on a Friday afternoon and then you’ll be a big macher for the weekend?

I’ll tell you, this business makes no sense in Frisco.

The Lazy Stokers of Golden Gate Park

Friday, November 14th, 2014

So lazy!

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The Most Airbnb People You Could Possibly Imagine, Alamo Square Area, Western Addition, USA

Monday, August 11th, 2014

(Not That There’s Anything Wrong With That.)

This has been a remarkable change, over the past half-decade.

You see them, all over the place, every day, coming and going, taking photos of buildings, looking at maps, asking where “the Seven Ladies” are, asking where the “Full House house” is, and rolling luggage up and down the street, you know, that kind of thing.

Sometimes I don’t know if they’re Airbnb people, but other times, like this time, it’s easy to tell: 

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I don’t have a generalized beef against tourists – that makes me different from the typical Western Addition NIMBY.

In any event, this is what Airbnb looks like IRL on the street.

Nest of “Scoot” Rental Scooters Parked in a Public Space in the Western Addition – Is This Kosher? – Is This SFMTA-Approved?

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

I know not, Gentle Reader.

I guess they leave these scooters about and you find them with your cell phone and then drive away?

OK fine. I’ve just never seen a nest like this before.

Maybe next time I come through, there’ll be 30 parked in a row and there’ll be Hertz and Avis rental cars in there as well and the Western A will become a rental car haven.

One supposes SFGov is cool with this…

 

Will This Fall’s Half-Billion Transit Bond Allow Your Landlord to Raise Your Rent, Costing You Thousands? – “Pass-Throughs”

Friday, August 1st, 2014

I don’t know.

But check this out:

“Ordinance calling and providing for a special election to be held in the City and County of San Francisco on Tuesday, November 4, 2014, for the purpose of submitting to San Francisco voters a proposition to incur the following bonded debt of the City and County: $500,000,000 to finance the construction, acquisition, and improvement of certain transportation and transit related improvements, and related costs necessary or convenient for the foregoing purposes; authorizing landlords to pass-through 50% of  the resulting property tax increase to residential tenants under Administrative Code Chapter 37…”

All right kids – you do the math. Start with $850,000,000 and divide that up among the denizens of the 415 / 628.

I don’t know how to do that but when I tried, I came up with a $30 a month rent increase for you, Gentle Reader, for the next 7-10 years.

Would the average landlord take the trouble to do a pass-through? IDK. I’m thinking the typical rent-controlled renter in SF doesn’t have to deal with pass-throughs currently. But maybe this big old honking bond would be the trigger for a wave of passthroughs?

Here’s what former SFGov employee Howard Wong has to say:

Arguments against MUNI infrastructure improvement bond

What does the ballot measure do:

Raises property taxes and rents (50% pass-through) to pay for General Obligation Bonds of $500 million, with $350 million in interest payments, for a total debt load of $850 million.

Funds “may be allocated” for transit and roads—carte blanche authority for unspecific projects.

If the Bond is rejected by voters, property taxes and rents would be reduced for everyone—not just for rich companies and the wealthy.

To read the Ordinance’s legal language is to oppose the Bond Measure.

http://www.sfgov2.org/ftp/uploadedfiles/elections/ElectionsArchives/Meeting_Information/BSC/agendas/2014/November/1-B%20Transportation%20Road%20Improvement%20GO.pdf

The SFMTA wants more money, certainly. But the question is what will the SFMTA do for us in order to get the money, right? Otherwise, we’re just shoveling more coal into a broken-down machine. Why not use the bond as a carrot to get the SFMTA to reform?

Perhaps our SFMTA doesn’t deserve this bond?

Anyway, if I were promoting this bond, I’d figure out what the odds are that landlords would pass through 50% of the burden and also how much rents would be increased, on average, and for how long. And then I’d say, well this is what the SFMTA is going to do with your money and this is how much it will cost you, the renter, or you, the owner.

Is this massive transit bond a good idea?

I don’t know.