Time for Localities to Enter the Era of Airbnb

It is a new world in local government land use following the recent state legislation allowing registries to be established, localities are wise to adopt regulations on Airbnb and VRBO and similar short stay uses.

Such reasonable regulations reflect reality (it is going on), give participants a way to be legal, strike a balance between participants and neighborhoods, and requires payment of transient occupancy taxes to fund services for those neighborhoods. Win win.

Among the Fairfax County rules:

  • No more than 60 nights a year.
  • Participant must be a resident of the property.
  • Parking space must be provided.
  • Quiet hours are imposed.
  • Six adult limit per unit.
  • Transient occupancy taxes must be paid and permit acquired.
  • Access to unit by building and code enforcement officials must be granted.
  • Permit number must be displayed on any marketing, wherever it appears, to confirm it is a lawful unit.

Fairfax County has done well. Other localities may strike a different balance or choose other rules. But every locality should consider such regulations because these short stay uses are going on. Rather than continuing to allow it to proceed as an undercover, illegal, unregulated and untaxed activity, local government action is appropriate.