DC Releases Short-Term Rental Regulations for Public Comment

  • November 3rd 2020

by Nena Perry-Brown

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DC's Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) has taken a new step toward implementing the city's short-term rental regulatory legislation. 

DCRA has released proposed rulemaking for short-term rentals that establishes the process to legally rent out a primary residence on sites like Airbnb. The rules came out on October 16th and the public has 30 days from then to comment.

The legislation was passed two years ago and was meant to go into effect in October 2019. By that time, however, the closest the city came was approving zoning amendments to define short-term rentals and where they can be located in DC. 

As expected, the proposed rulemaking states that short-term rental hosts will only be able to rent out portions of their primary residence, although there can be as many separate rentals in that residence as desired. Hosts will have to secure a basic business license for short-term rentals, and they cannot list their rentals on a site that does not display license numbers.

Hosts can admit guests for an unlimited number of nights while they remain on the premises, but for a maximum of 90 days if they are out of town. Hosts can apply for an exception to the 90-day cap if they can provide notarized documentation of being sent away for a work assignment or they are temporarily relocating to provide care for a close relative.

Hosts will also have to retain records of their bookings for at least two years; those records may be subject to review upon DCRA's request.

The penalties against hosts for non-compliance will be $250 for the first violation, $500 for the second violation, and $1,000 for the third violation along with immediate revocation of the short-term rental license.

At the conclusion of the comment period, the agency will either revise the rulemaking to incorporate any necessary substantive changes, or will seek approval through the mayor's office to issue the final rules. If the rulemaking is revised, the new version will be published in the DC Register for another 30-day comment period.

Photo by Ted Eytan.

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/dcra-releases-short-term-rental-regulations-for-public-comment/17483.

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