Written by Shannon Wilson

Legal & Regulatory Issues on Short-Term Residential Rentals

Over the past few years, there has been an explosion of online marketplaces and services for people to rent their homes for short-term leases (typically less than thirty (30) days), such as Airbnb.  Airbnb projected it will earn as much as $3.5 billion a year by 2020.[1]  Before you host your home on any of these websites, you must first understand applicable local laws and rules of contracts or rules that bind you.


Local Law Considerations


Prior to hosting your property, review your jurisdiction’s ordinances pertaining to short-term residential leases.  Pertinent provisions to review include, without limitation, the following:


  • Permit Requirements
  • Business License Requirements
  • Zoning Codes
  • Building Codes
  • Short-Term Lodging Taxes


For further questions, contact a local lawyer and/or your city’s business license department, planning department, and building department directly to learn more about applicable local laws.


Other Rules and Contracts


In addition to reviewing applicable local laws, prior to hosting your residence for a short-term residential lease, you must consult any private contracts or rules that bind you with regard to your use of the premises to be leased, including, without limitation, your lease agreement, condominium board rules, and Home Owners Association rules, if and as applicable.

[1] Leigh Gallagher, Airbnb’s Profits to Top $3 Billion by 2020 (Feb. 15, 2017) (available at http://fortune.com/2017/02/15/airbnb-profits/).