September 20, 2019

An Update on Short-term Rentals and Legislation

In the past decade, the popularity of short-term rentals has grown at a rate that has far outpaced governmental regulation. This surge in growth is largely attributable to the popularity of online hosting platforms, such as AirBnB and HomeAway. Some state and local governments have started adopting regulations designed to “rein in” short-term rentals and address their perceived impacts on residential neighborhoods. This regulation is having a significant impact on property owners’ right to rent out their properties on a short-term basis. State and local REALTOR® associations, while respecting community concerns, are well positioned to monitor state and local regulatory activity and to take action to protect private property rights.

There has been a lot of press coverage of a new bill introduced in the House that deals with short-term rentals. The bill, H.R.4232 , the "Protecting Local Authority and Neighborhoods Act," requires providers of short-term rental listings (AirBnB, VRBO, etc.) to ensure that the properties they list are rented in compliance with state and local law. The legislation has just been introduced and faces a long process before it becomes law.

The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) does not have a policy on short-term rentals, as they have members on both sides (those who argue private property rights and the ability to rent your own home as you see fit; and those who argue that these rentals disturb the residential flavor of neighborhoods and hurt quiet enjoyment). However, NAR does have a useful white paper and resources that outline the options and issues surrounding short-term rental restrictions.