"Airbnb has indicated that they want regulation, they want clarity," said Nathan Tobin, head of growth at Guesty, a site that helps Airbnb hosts manage their bookings. "The posture of activists in the Bay Area has been very adversarial."
In fact, San Francisco implemented a law in early 2015 allowing short-term rentals for 90 days a year when the host isn't present (Rooms in owner-occupied houses don't face such limits). Hosts breaking the law are subject to fines of $1,000 a day.
Enforcement has proven challenging, a major reason why the latest measure was designed to allow private citizens to take action.
"Apparently San Francisco doesn't have the manpower to really enforce it," said Stephen Fishman, a Bay Area attorney and author of numerous books including The Real Estate Agent's Tax Deduction Guide. Still, "we have a law, we should see if it will work," he said.
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Semil Shah, an early-stage tech investor and long-time Bay Area resident, sympathizes with both sides.
Tech money from the likes of Facebook, Apple and Google has poured into San Francisco real estate and driven up prices at the expense of just about anyone not in the tech sector.
But Airbnb is hardly the culprit.
"There's an incredible, compounding rate of liquidity coming into the Bay Area, and there will be more coming in," Shah said. "Combine those forces with the fact that individuals from other countries are buying properties in the Bay Area to park some of their wealth here, and what you have is a frenzied real estate market."