Short-Term Rental Checklist for Legal Rentals

As the Vacation Rental industry determines its fate with governments across the world, the laws regarding home sharing and home rentals vary widely and change quickly. A short-term rental usually refers to a guest’s stay that lasts less than thirty days. OneRooftop has built this checklist so you know exactly what to look for on your local government’s website.

1. Have your home, apartment, or room you’d like to rent.

Once you’ve got this, you’re all set to start. Rentals are a great service to provide unique experiences for travel and often at a lower price than a hotel.

2. Figure out your city’s zoning.

You can find out if your neighborhood allows short-term vacation rentals online at your city or county website. It might also be a good idea to follow the local news for proposed changes.

3. What is minimum occupancy for your state or county?

Some have referred to short-term rentals as “illegal sublets,” meaning if you have are renting your apartment from a landlord your guest may be legally required to stay a certain number of days. These laws are often confusing and heavily qualified. See this infographic of New York State’s minimum occupancy laws.


4. Stay up-to-date on fire safety inspections.

One of the biggest complaints against short-term rentals on sites like Airbnb or VRBO is that some property managements are running illegal hotels and aren’t up to snuff on proper fire code. It may mean getting fire detectors, emergency lighting, a new fire extinguisher or installing sprinklers.

5. Speak with the landlord or homeowner’s association of your complex.

If you are renting out an apartment that means sharing codes or keys to an apartment complex, you will need to get clearance from your homeowner’s association.

6. Is a permit necessary to rent?

In many instances this is a one-time purchase, and sometimes depends on the number of bedrooms you are renting. Be sure to get the specifics from your local government.

7. Do you need to register your home as a commercial property?

Paris, France has recently changed their laws for short-term rentals and is forcing home owners on listing sites to re-register their residential property as a commercial one, Rentals United reported. This has been a problem for residents because they have been required to get a second home for themselves to have as a residential property.


Not investigating these laws puts you at risk of being fined or other enforcements. Check out the laws and find out how you can have a fun, enjoyable, lawful rental experience.

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