DCRA Releases Final Short-Term Rental Regulations

  • December 3rd 2021

by Nena Perry-Brown

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More than three years after the DC Council passed a bill establishing a regulatory framework for short-term rentals in the city, the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) has released the final rules for enforcement.

A short-term rental market, which refers to rentals of fewer than 30 consecutive days, has long been thriving in DC and other cities on websites like Airbnb. Over the years, many jurisdictions have responded by putting regulations in place as measures to, for example, ensure proper tax collection and mitigate supply impacts on the long-term rental market.

The final rules, published on Friday, differ very little from the rules previously proposed near the top of this year. Overall, short-term rentals must be operated by the owner of the unit, and each owner-host must acquire a short-term rental license from DCRA. Hosts with these licenses can admit guests for an unlimited number of nights while they are on the premises. Accessory dwelling units on an owner-occupied premises also qualify under these rules.

Hosts can also acquire a vacation rental license, permitting them to admit guests for a maximum of 90 days while they are out of town. This 90-day cap can only be exceeded if the host applies for an exception to leave town for work or to temporarily care for a close relative. If a host owns a unit in a multi-family building, they can attest that short-term rentals are permitted at the property rather than needing written consent from the homeowners' association.

Instead of there being a $99 standalone fee for the short-term rental and vacation rental licenses, the only charges will be for the application fee and other administrative fees, halving the total cost.  Guests will still be barred from using a host's visitors' parking permit.

The rules are effective as of today, although DCRA expects to give people and booking services time to begin complying.

Correction: The article previously misstated the total application cost. It is $104.50.

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/dcra-releases-final-rules-on-short-term-rental-regulations/19019.

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