Can I Airbnb my house?

The Airbnb rules and regulations to consider

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Want to rent out your vacation home for extra income? Wonderful—we have guides to help you every step of the way. However, don’t get your first booking just yet. Before doing anything else, make sure you can legally rent out your vacation home as a short-term rental. Local law (whether that’s at the city, county or state level, or all three), your homeowner association, and others can dictate:

  • How often you can rent your vacation home
  • Requirements to rent out your vacation home
  • If you can rent out your vacation home at all

There’s a lot to consider. So, let’s break it down for you.

Local ordinances

First thing first, think about where your vacation home is located. Every city, county, and state could have widely different laws and ordinances governing vacation rentals. Start here before doing anything else. Here are some places to find your local short-term rental rules and regulations.

Where to find your local short term rental regulations

1. Your local government website

Many local governments—whether city, county, or states—have dedicated web pages explaining their short term rental rules and regulations. You may also have to refer to city and county code websites. Search terms like short term rental, vacation rental, transient, and similar terms.

2. The Airbnb Help Center

In the Airbnb Help Center, you’ll find an extensive list of hosting requirements and rules in many top travel markets around the world.

Here are direct links to some of the countries Vacasa operates in:

United States

Mexico

Costa Rica

3. Other vacation rental owners and hosts

From vacation homeowner groups on Facebook to local Airbnb Host Clubs, connecting with other homeowners can help clue you in on navigating local rules and regulations. However, remember that fellow vacation homeowners are not legal advisers, so verify any information you get from the group.

4. Consult a local legal or tax professional

Experts can give you up-to-date information about local taxes and laws that apply to short-term rentals and help you stay in compliance.

5. Work with a local vacation rental property management company

Vacation rental managers—such as Vacasa—will have their finger on the pulse with local rules and regulations that apply to their local market.

Examples of short term rental rules and regulations

Some jurisdictions may require you to:

  • Obtain a business license
  • Obtain tax registration
  • Collect local occupancy or lodging taxes
  • Pay value-added tax or a goods and services tax
  • Apply for a permit to qualify for a short-term rental property
  • Enter a lottery, or be added to a waiting list, to get a vacation rental license
  • Obtain liability insurance

Homeowner association rules

It’s not just local governments that impact your ability to earn income from your vacation rental. Homeowner associations may have several policies as well. Their bylaws dictate what you can and cannot do in your vacation home. Most importantly, some HOAs prohibit renting out your home as a vacation rental at all, while others allow it.

Read your HOA rules and regulations thoroughly. They could outline rules concerning:

  • Pets
  • Smoking
  • Quiet hours and neighborhood noise ordinances
  • Guest parking
  • Usage of amenities, including the pool, hot tub, tennis courts, fitness center, and more
  • Maximum occupancy
  • Minimum or maximum lengths of stay
  • Guest registration
  • Safety equipment requirements, such as fire extinguishers and carbon monoxide detectors

Opportunity meets preparation...

Airbnb’s own rules for vacation homeowners

Even vacation rental platforms have rules homeowners have to follow to remain in good standing in the search results. For instance, Airbnb requires their hosts to:

  • Avoid canceling on guests
  • Respond to booking requests with 24 hours
  • Maintain a high overall rating
  • Accept booking requests as much as possible

Short term rental rules and regulations are constantly changing

As the popularity of Airbnbs and vacation rentals continue to grow, so do cities experimenting with different rules to regulate the industry. Once you start renting out your vacation home to guests, stay up-to-date on local vacation rental policies so you can continue to stay in compliance.

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Vacasa offers property management and other real estate services directly through Vacasa LLC and through Vacasa LLC's licensed subsidiaries. Click here for more information about Vacasa's licensed real estate brokerage/property manager in your state. Vacasa’s licensed real estate brokerages/property managers include: Vacasa Alabama LLC; Vacasa Arizona LLC; Vacasa of Arkansas LLC; Vacasa Colorado LLC (Micah Victory); Vacasa Delaware LLC, 302-541-8999; Vacasa Florida LLC; Vacasa Illinois LLC 481.014072, Micah Victory Managing Broker Lic# 471.021837; Vacasa Louisiana LLC, Dana MacCord, Principal Broker, ph 504.252.0155 (Licensed in LA); Vacasa Michigan LLC, 602-330-9934; Vacasa Missouri LLC, Vicki Lyn Brown, Designated Broker; Vacasa Nevada LLC; Vacasa New Hampshire LLC,45 NH-25, Meredith, NH 03253, Susan Scanlon, Broker of Record; Vacasa Minnesota, Broker: Micah Victory, license #40877637; Vacasa New Mexico LLC, 503-345-9399; Vacasa New York LLC, 888-433-0068, Susan Scanlon, Real Estate Broker; Vacasa North Carolina LLC; Vacasa Oregon LLC; Vacasa Pennsylvania LLC; Vacation Palm Springs Real Estate, Inc., California DRE #01523013, Mark Graham, California DRE #00700720; Vacasa Real Estate LLC (licensed in Texas, Debra Brock, Designated Broker); Vacasa Real Estate LLC (licensed in Washington, Robert Brush, Designated Broker); Vacasa Seasonals Inc., California DRE #02160171, Lisa Renee Stevens, California DRE #01485234; Vacasa South Carolina LLC; Vacasa South Dakota LLC; Vacasa Tennessee LLC; Vacasa Vacation Rentals of Hawaii LLC, 69-201 Waikoloa Beach Dr. Ste. #2F17, Waikoloa, HI 96738; Vacasa Vacation Rentals of Montana LLC, Terah M. Young, Licensed Property Manager; Vacasa Virginia LLC; Vacasa Wisconsin LLC; Vacasa Wyoming LLC. In Canada, this advertisement is provided by Vacasa Canada ULC, CPBC lic. number 75826, 172 Asher Rd. V1X 3H6 Kelowna, BC.