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What DC Hosts Need to Know to Make Their Short-Term Rental Legal

  • January 5th

by Nena Perry-Brown

DC's Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) published the final rules for enforcement of short-term rental regulations in the city in December. Below, UrbanTurf outlines what homeowners who host short-term rentals need to know as of this month. 

Starting January 10th, owners who host short-term rentals, which have a duration of 30 or fewer consecutive nights, will need to apply for licenses to legitimize those rentals. Hosts will have 90 days to submit their application before compliance will be enforced.

The short-term rental license, which is valid for two years, applies to homeowners who host paid guests at their primary residence while they are on the premises. These hosts can accept guests for an unlimited number of days annually. For hosts who are not on the premises during guest stays, there is a separate vacation rental license under which there can only be guests for up to 90 days annually.

Business entities will not be able to license short-term rentals and other third parties will not be able to license short-term rentals on properties they do not own. Condo and co-op owners, or homeowners subject to a homeowner's association, will need to certify that their by-laws permit short-term rentals, and applicants must meet minimum liability insurance requirements and obtain a "Certificate of Clean Hands" from the Office of Tax and Revenue. The total application cost for the short-term rental license is $104.50.

The enforcement period will begin on April 10th, at which point hosts of unlicensed short-term rentals may be subject to fines. The fine would be up to $250 for the first violation and up to $1,000 for the third violation. People will be able to look up licensed short-term rentals on DCRA's Scout portal, and there will be a hotline for people to report illegal short-term rentals. 

“Over the last several months we’ve worked with short-term rental hosts to gain feedback on our online license application process," DCRA Director Ernest Chrappah said in a statement. "Our goal is to make it as easy as possible for District residents looking to earn extra income by renting out their homes.”

Additional information can be found here.

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/what-dc-hosts-need-to-know-to-make-their-rental-legal/19104.

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