3 Ways Short-term Rental Regulations Vary by Cities

3 Ways Short-term Rental Regulations Vary by Cities

Over the years, the short-term rental business has become a profitable undertaking for homeowners to make money. These short–term rentals are an affordable and stylish form of accommodation for tourists visiting different cities. The short-term rental has grown popular over the years despite the numerous complaints from citizens. The temporary accommodation has been associated with more neighborhood traffic, noise disturbance, and citizens fear they cause inadequate housing. This is because homeowners tend to prefer short-term rental business.

Many cities have put in practice laws and regulations to govern the industry to discourage these short-term rentals’ growth. Non-compliance leads to the homeowners paying hefty fines. These regulations vary from city to city and change from time to time. Below are some of the ways in which short-term rental laws differ from city to city.

Short-term Rental Prohibition

Some cities banned these businesses completely. San Diego is one such city. Santa Barbara describes them as ‘hotels,’ which can only operate in designated zones and after all the approvals are present. In New York City, any residential house must only be used for “permanent resident use.” Therefore, the said property must be occupied by the same person for over 31 days consecutively. It is a violation to give accommodation to paying customers for less than 30days. However, it is not illegal to rent a room in the city as long as you occupy the same home and at the same time with the paying guests, and all parts of the house are available to the guest. The doors should not have locks to enable the guests to have unrestricted access to all rooms. Failure to follow the guidelines can result in a penalty of $1000-$5000 for first-time offenders in New York City. Washington DC imposes a fine of $500-$6000.

A Limited Number of Short-term Rentals in a Location

There are stricter rules in large cities, such as limiting the number of temporary accommodations in a given zone. New Orleans completely forbids short-term rentals in the French Quarter for less than 60 days, with the exemption of some areas. The city works with Airbnb and enforcement officers to help track down complaints and violations. San Luis, California, uses zoning laws to reduce short-term rentals. Short-term rentals must be not on the same block and must be at least 200 feet away from each other. Isle of Palms limits the number of occupants.

Multiple Dwelling Laws (MDL)

New York City’s restrictions are one of the toughest. The Multiple Dwelling Law only allows rentals of not more than 31 days in Class A buildings with more than three families living independently only in the presence of a permanent resident. Some cities allow short-term rentals as long as they have a city permit and pay all the applicable taxes and fees. Examples of such cities are Palm Desert and St. Helena in California and Maui County, Hawaii. In Chicago, short-term and vacation rentals must obtain business permits. In Boston, apart from having licenses, the premises should not have any income-restricted units. In Seattle, the hosts must register as both a business and a short-term rental. The states of Florida, Georgia, Maine, Vermont, Delaware, and Pennsylvania forbids short-term rentals.
Short-term rentals can give cities extra income in terms of revenues. There are about 100 short-term rentals that are uniquely distributed over 1500 towns and counties at the moment in America. Short-term rentals have also increased tourist activities. For example, the City of Brevard case has approved the rentals with the hope of attracting tourists. However, some landlords are evicting their tenants to make their premises permanent, temporary accommodation for guests. The result is that major cities are now facing a shortage of affordable housing and a rent increment.

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Christophe Rude

Christophe Rude

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