MA Passes Law to Tax, Regulate Short-Term Rentals

The new legislation is aimed at operators like Airbnb, which filed a lawsuit against the city of Boston over its regulations in November.

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has signed into law a bill that will tax and regulate short-term rental properties like Airbnb. The move comes after Airbnb sued the City of Boston last November in federal court, in an effort to overturn the city’s ban on short-term rentals.

The bill will require rental hosts to register with the state, secure insurance for the property and opens the potential for local taxes on top of a new state tax. The new rules take effect July 1. The law is intended to mitigate the potential effect of Airbnb and short-term rentals on affordable housing.

 “Our administration has long supported leveling the playing field for short term rental operators who use their properties as de facto hotels,” said Baker in a press release following the passage of the law. “I appreciate the Legislature’s work to reach a compromise on this bill that adopts our proposal to avoid placing undue burdens on occasional renters.”

After Airbnb filed its lawsuit last November, the home-sharing giant told MHN that the City of Boston’s “heavy-handed approach” to regulate the short-term rental industry “crossed several clear legal lines and must be invalidated.”

Following this most recent development, Airbnb issued a statement saying the company was “deeply disappointed in the flawed bill that emerged from Beacon Hill during the lame duck session.”

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