At the beginning of 2019 Short term Rental Regulation was announced in Massachusetts and owners had till July 1st 2019 to comply with the new law. The Short Term Rental Regulation in Massachusetts was put in place since many owners were no longer offering their homes to prospective renters looking for longterm leases and opting to rent out there places like hotels where a consumer could rent out there place for short term.
Boston has always had a tight rental market, but before the Short Term Rental Regulation was put in the rental market went from being a little tight to be very tight. Boston Rental inventory is tight no matter what you do which makes affordability a bigger issue. This fairly new regulation doesn’t just affect Boston but affects the entire Commonwealth of Massachusetts
What will an owner have to do if they want to use Airbnb?
The city of Boston and Airbnb have not seen eye to eye on the short term regulation and in truth why would Airbnb want to agree with Boston unless they were forced to, However, finally Airbnb and Boston have come to an agreement. Back in August, Marty Walsh announced both have come to an agreement, and Airbnb will help facilitate the widespread adoption of Boston Short Term rental registration system. They will remove short term rentals from there site that doesn’t comply with the state and local regulations. The Regulation also addresses renters who have in the past rented out there apartments they don’t own to someone else as well. Renters are not permitted to rent out there home to somone else.
Boston will continue to require owners to register their units and continue the city’s regulations about which units are eligible to be used for short term rentals. Airbnb will also be adding on their website a function to allow the host to enter and display their required city-issued registration number. December 2019 all listings will be required to enter this number or face removal from the Airbnb platform. Customer who use Airbnb to list there homes will be informed by the company of the short term standards and work with users to ensure their listings are registered with the city.
If you operate an Airbnb listing you will need to register the listing every single year and notify abutters of the existence of the listing within 30 days to have registration approved. Airbnb will also be sharing key data with the city of Boston officials including the listing, the unique address, registration number, unique host ID, listing information and zip code.
Last, under the settlement, the city officials will have the power to notify Airbnb of any listings they think are illegal under Boston Short Term rental ordinance. If the user fails to comply with the law Airbnb will remove the rental within 30 days from there platform.
The City will divide short term rental units into three types with different fees for each:
Limited share unit: $25 per year. Consists of a private bedroom and shared space in the owner-operators primary residence in which the operator is present during the rental.
Home Share unit $200 per year consists of a whole unit available for short term rental at the primary residence of the owner-operator (unit in which operator resides for at least nine months out of the 12 months.
Owner- Adjacent Unit: $200 per year consists of an owner-occupied two or three-family building, in which the owner lists a single secondary unit as a short term rental.
All properties must not have a fire, zoning or housing violations to be on Airbnb.
New Regulation Goals
The goal is to curb owner from renting there housing on Airbnb and HomeAway and back to people looking for longer-term lease, but an owner who really wants to lease out there place for short term vs long term will most likely just pass on the expense to the tenant that wants to rent there place, but as an agent I am seeing properties that were once on Airbnb are now back in the standard rental market. Has it caused rental pricing to drop? A little but not a lot.
Real Estate Agent Opinion
In my opinion, Airbnb has its place in real estate but I feel its a platform that is better for areas not in major cities like ski-town or resorts areas that are not in major cities with housing shortage areas. Locations like Sunday River or Loon Mountain are great examples where Airbnb can be a win for all.
This change I do also think it will help condo owners or neighbors in the area since it holds people accountable. Even if your a landlord and you put a renter in the apartment for 12 months your help hold your tenant accountable. When you Airbnb there is no way to hold anyone responsible. The new regulation is a win not only for renters for long term housing but also a win for owners and neighbors and property values. The one thing this new regulation doesn’t solve is the Boston Affordable Housing issue. It helps slightly but doesn’t offer the relief that people relocating into Boston need. If you an investor looking for an agent who has experience in both Sales and Rentals contact me. I can make sure we get your investment in top shape and for top dollar