News in Brief: Home-sharing website challenges San Francisco rental law

November 21, 2014

Westlaw News in Brief thumbnailA Texas-based home-sharing website has sued the city and county of San Francisco in California federal court to overturn an ordinance prohibiting non-permanent residents from renting out property on a short-term basis.

In its suit, Homeaway Inc. says the ordinance substantially burdens interstate commerce, discriminating against anyone who lives in an eligible short-term rental property fewer than 275 days per year.

The ordinance also places substantial burdens on website platforms like Homeaway, which allow owners to list rental properties but do not collect taxes on behalf of the owners, the suit says.

Homeaway competitor Airbnb Inc., a San Francisco company, lobbied for and was involved in drafting the new law, which favors its business model, the complaint says.

The suit seeks an order declaring the ordinance unconstitutional, an injunction, costs and fees.

San Francisco’s planning director, a defendant in the suit, did not respond to a request for comment.

Homeaway Inc. et al. v. City and County of San Francisco et al., No. 3:14-CV-04859, complaint filed (N.D. Cal. Nov. 3, 2014).

Related Court Documents on Westlaw or WestlawNext:
Complaint: 2014 WL 5510760