The subleasing trend among renters leveraging short-term rental services is prevalent nationwide. Renters in the Bay Area, burdened with high rent, often seek ways to make ends meet – violating lease agreements that either state flat out that you can’t do shortterm rentals without written approval, or that you can’t sublet.

In more than a few instances, tenants may decide to secretly rent out an extra room by advertising it on Airbnb, unaware of San Francisco’s short-term rental laws that are now being strictly enforced.

So, what is the correct procedure required to stay within the law? First you will need to get a Business Registration Certificate ($95), and then apply to the Office of Short-Term Rentals (OSTR) for approval as a host (increased to $450 effective October 1, 2019). Even after paying this collective $545 there is no guarantee that you will be approved (the application fee is non-refundable regardless). It is important to be aware that if you are a tenant, whether you get approved by the city or not, the OSTR will automatically send out a notice to your landlord which reads as follows:

“Please be aware that the owner of your unit will receive a letter from the Office of Short-Term Rentals with notification of your intent to host. We encourage you to review your lease and receive permission from your property owner prior to applying”.

Violation of your lease agreement could lead to a ‘Just Cause’ for eviction, a serious consequence, especially for tenants under rent control.

With recent statistics indicating that half of all 25-35 year are wanting the ability to home-share their apartment units, it’s clear that this issue isn’t going to go away anytime soon.

Mark Henderson, creator of an online platform Letulet, has come up with a solution that bridges the tenant-landlord gap, creating a win-win for both parties. Letulet takes care of both the landlord and tenant with real estate approved agreements and automatic payouts that are given to both parties. Per Mark Henderson “Letulet works on trust, fairness and openness, empowering renters and landlords to finally do home-sharing the right way, the fair way”.

Renters can apply for a custom lease addendum, provided free by Letulet, which allows for legal protection and full transparency. They can then post listings directly on Airbnb, with Letulet automatically taking care of the details – including splitting the revenue and keeping landlords informed.

Landlords are provided with all of the necessary tools to grant conditional approval for any renter wanting to host space on Airbnb, ensuring that all lease terms are met and that they remain in control, informed and paid.

An all-in-one dashboard provides full visibility and tracks all Airbnb activity in the landlord’s building, including revenue flow, guest information, booking schedules and more – all with exportable reports. Landlords receive an agreed upon portion of the renter’s earnings after each reservation, averaging 20%. A small percentage goes to Letulet (4.5%). For more information go to
David Costello,
Global Real Estate Advisor