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Short-term Rentals: Addressing their Regulations & Restrictions

With the rise in popularity of vacation rentals, a more watchful eye has been placed on short-term rentals and their impact on the local community. New York City in particular has been a focus of news sources for the city’s regulations governing this type of property. However, regulation issues are prevalent throughout the rental industry. Increased attention coupled with a general lack of knowledge regarding these regulations has prompted the formation of the Short Term Rental Advocacy Center, or STRAC. This group was created by FlipKey & TripAdvisor, HomeAway, and Airbnb to help empower and engage the short-term rental community in its crusade with policymakers for smarter regulations.

First, you may be asking yourself, “Well, what exactly qualifies as a ‘short-term rental’?”

This type of property is a residence that is rented out for less than 30 consecutive days.

Now, you’re probably wondering, “Okay, well then what are the issues surrounding this rental market?”

This is a multi-faceted question, but some of the main issues are overly broad regulations, complicated and unclear restrictions, licensing fees regardless of how often a property is rented, and a lack of understanding by policymakers of the benefits these rentals provide to the community. All of these limitations have made it increasingly difficult to successfully operate a short-term rental.

So, what’s the solution?

Well, a good place to start is by visiting STRAC’s website, http://www.stradvocacy.org/. This is a great resource for finding a local chapter of the organization, learning about how these regulations have impacted U.S. cities and short-term rental owners, and providing guidelines on how to approach your local government about these issues in a well-informed manner. It is important that your voice is heard when these regulations are being drafted and enacted. It is your property, your community, and your livelihood. STRAC is here to help, but it is up to short-term rental owners to make themselves heard. Here are some tools to get started!

Currently, there are local chapters in the following cities:

Ashland, ORMarin County, CA
Austin, TXMaui, HI
Coachella Valley, CAMiami, FL
Myrtle Beach, SCSan Francisco, CA
New York City, NYSanta Fe, NM

The STRAC website also provides a synopsis of each city’s current short-term rental regulations and how to contact them directly. Once you register with your local chapter, you can receive email updates on short-term rental regulations and meetings that are happening in your area.  These updates provide opportunities to get involved and share your story with others affected by these regulations.

Visit STRAC today, and get started on making a positive impact on your short-term rental community!