Vacation Rental Regulations: How to Operate Intelligently

If you’ve ever thought about renting out a property on AirBnB or VRBO, many things have probably crossed your mind. Maybe you wonder, “Who will clean the property?” or “What do I do about taxes?” Although these are valid concerns, there’s one important question that often gets overlooked… “Is this even legal?”

The short answer: yes.

The long answer: pretty much. Usually. It depends.

Every area has its own quirks when it comes to the legal landscape. We know it’s boring, but regulations are key to the success of any short-term rental business.

When kicking off operations, you will discover that there are various laws and regulations at multiple levels. Check for initial fees and licensing requirements at the state, county, and city levels, then find out from an accountant what taxes you’re expected to pay.

Often enough, certain platforms will integrate taxes into the pricing of your listings. This can be really helpful; however, note that these platforms also charge fees (not so helpful). Additionally, each platform will have its own regulations concerning customer safety, refunds, and other operational aspects.

This all sounds like a lot, but don’t get discouraged. There are many resources available to assist in starting your very own operation! Use these common rules of thumb to get started.


  • Do Research


Research is a vital part of the process. Narrow down your options and know your local regulations. A few cities have created very strict regulations surrounding short term rentals, but even there you can generally rent rooms out if you’re also living in the dwelling. Most cities are not nearly as strict.

  1. Follow the Rules

Once you know the local laws, be sure to adhere to them. Get licensed and pay your taxes.

  1. Hire a Team

After you research the rules, hire a team! Property management groups (like Away Agents) can help you achieve higher ratings and more revenue.

  1. Make Money!

Does this really need an explanation?

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