San Francisco residents rent rooms out by hour to cover rent or mortgage

SAN FRANCISCO, California -- In a bustling city like San Francisco where it's easy to burn out, the living network app Recharge is expanding its offerings from upscale hotel room rentals by the hour to homes and apartments that you can also rent by the hour, to nap, shower or take a phone call.

"We want you to be able to have privacy on the go," said CEO Manny Bamfo.

Bamfo says hourly rental rates run from $20 to $125. The service is not just for travelers who need a place to crash between meetings. It also caters to people who live and work in San Francisco.

Mimi Fan is a Recharge host who is recharging her wallet. Fan is renting out a spare bedroom in her home during the day.

"The house is empty. It's not being utilized," said Fan.

Fan's room rents for $30 an hour. She gets 80 percent of that and puts the money towards her mortgage.

"It's not cheap living in San Francisco," said Fan.

Fan makes approximately $2,500 a month because she manages and cleans her own home. Hosts who want Recharge to manage and clean their property make approximately $500 a month.

Unlike Airbnb, the rooms cannot be rented for overnight stays.

In an emailed statement, the San Francisco Planning Department Communications Manager Gina Simi wrote, "Short Term Rental (41A) regulations don't apply in this case; however, we haven't been able to thoroughly analyze this particular type of operation. The Planning Department will need to take a closer look to determine if there are any Code issues, whether they might be Planning or another agency."

"People always like to say, 'Oh this must be for rock and roll, this must be for people partying in the rooms.' We just don't see that," said Bamfo.

Bamfo says Recharge goes to tremendous lengths to review customers and hosts, though, he would not specify how.

"The only issue we have is that we need more homes," said Bamfo.

More than 1,600 person waitlist to get on the platform.
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