Airbnb has removed thousands of listings in Boston as new rule takes effect ahead of the company’s presumed IPO next year

William Feuer

Airbnb is eyeing a major IPO next year, but this year it faces escalating regulation in cities across the country.

The home-sharing company had to comply on Sunday with strict new regulations in Boston that require hosts to register their listings with the city. Boston’s regulations are designed to ban so-called investor units, or properties meant to be residential that are exclusively or primarily used for short-term housing. Such units, lawmakers say, inflate the housing market and drive out long-term residents.

The city’s crackdown on Airbnb listings comes amid a wave of similar laws proposed in cities around the world. Such regulations could put a dent in the business model of one of the last tech darlings of the decade that has yet to go public.

Less than half of listings have applied

The city has received 1,778 applications for registration, and so far approved 737, city officials said. The company had about 4,000 total listings in Boston just over a month ago, according to city officials. An Airbnb spokeswoman said the company removed all listings from the platform on Sunday that did not display a license number from the city of Boston.

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