How to Legally Rent on Airbnb in DC

  • January 31st 2014

by Lark Turner

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How to Legally Rent on Airbnb in DC: Figure 1
A Shaw carriage house available on Airbnb.

As our article from earlier today pointed out, it’s not hard to start hosting people on Airbnb, and for those living in central locations throughout DC, the money can be great. But what many users don’t (or won’t) consider is whether or not the temporary rental they offer is operating legally.

UrbanTurf reached out to the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs for details regarding what an Airbnb host can do to avoid running afoul of District regulations. Here’s what they told us, in one handy chart:

How to Legally Rent on Airbnb in DC: Figure 2

It is important to note that the information provided in the chart only covers the business and basic permits a person would need to avoid DCRA fines. But there could be other city regulations to keep in mind, including ones related to the fire code. And that’s not all: If you own a condo or co-op, your board likely prohibits units in the building from being from rented for less than 30 days at a time (and sometimes the minimum time limit is higher).

Airbnb hosts may be surprised to learn that pretty much any short-term renting scenario requires some kind of permit. But Airbnb lists the following caveat in all caps in its terms of service: “Airbnb cannot and does not control the content contained in any listings and the condition, legality or suitability of any accommodations.” Later, it states that the service “assumes no responsibility for a Host’s compliance with any applicable laws, rules and regulations.”

Since hosts can’t count on Airbnb to bail them out if they get into trouble, it’s a good move to confirm a rental is operating legally.

See other articles related to: airbnb, airbnb dc, airbnb illegal, dclofts

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/heres_how_to_legally_rent_on_airbnb_in_dc/8068.

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