Getting a Handle on Short-Term Rental Regulation

While counties have already enacted some regulations of short-term residential rentals, some are still working through how they plan to regulate them. House Bill 1604 provides some needed parameters on these limited rentals, while maintaining local autonomy for local governments to enact laws regulating the industry.

MACo Legislative Director Natasha Mehu testified in support of HB 1604 before the House Economic Matters Committee on March 9, 2018. HB 1604 strikes a balance between ensuring communities can continue to benefit from short-term rentals without stifling the industry or putting people at risk. The bill requires hosts and innkeepers to operate within the local laws of the jurisdictions in which they conduct rentals, and both must also be registered with the Comptroller. Businesses in the industry must maintain records and provide information to the State, which allows State and local officials access to data for regulatory and taxation purposes.

From MACo Testimony:

Counties across the state have either enacted local laws or are in the process of deciding how to regulate short-term rentals. Local governments are best situated to address the specific needs of their diverse and distinct communities – particularly regarding public health, public safety, and zoning matters. Accordingly, the bill expressly protects the authority of local governments to enact local laws concerning the regulation of short-term rentals.

Counties believe HB 1604 balances the shared goals of a reasonable regulatory scheme for limited residential lodging that will both protect consumers and let the industry thrive.”

For more on this and other legislation, follow MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2018 legislative session here.