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Proposed Vermont STR Law

AirBnb recently advised me of a proposed new Vermont bill, restricting owners’ ability to Short Term Rent their property. Some provisions are reasonable, such as a $130 annual licensing fee. However, the onerous provision is this:

§ 4469. RESIDENCY REQUIREMENT A person may not offer all or part of a dwelling unit as a short-term rental unless the person has occupied the dwelling unit as his or her primary residence for:
(1) 270 days of the preceding year; or
(2) if the person has owned or leased the dwelling unit for less than a year, more than percent of the days that the person has owned or leased the dwelling unit.

Here is a link to the Draft bill as introduced: LINK = https://legislature.vermont.gov/Documents/2022/Docs/BILLS/H-0200/H-0200%20As%20Introduced.pdf

AirBnb set up a “Civic Action Center” at this LINK = https://actnow.airbnbcitizen.com/yUKdFB6

However, I am an Out-of-State owner. (My Co-Host, a relative, lives in Vermont, and manages the day-to-day activities). I have contacted AirBnb to reach their legislative affairs team, as I don’t feel individuals have much clout to influence the legislative process. Hosts need some legal / lobbying pressure from AirBnb. Waiting to hear back on that,

Have any other hosts had this issue come up in other states, and found ways to defeat this type of legislation?

It’s rare for these kinds of regulatory actions to be statewide. They are usually local or county level.

I wouldn’t count on Air’s lobbyists to do your work for you, though corporate lobbyists can sometimes kill or pass a bill in spite of local sentiment. I spent an entire Alaska legislative session trying to derail a “ride sharing” bill written by Uber and Lyft, their lobbyists won and cities and taxi companies lost.

Your best bet is to contact your state’s destination travel agency, and your local visitor’s bureau. Vermont is a vacation state, so I can’t imagine this is very popular.

Thanks, good suggestions on the travel agency / visitor’s bureau.

Sounds like you STR in an area where lots of outside investors like yourself have bought properties making it harder for locals to find/afford somewhere to live so they are trying to deter this.

Sadly this is what happens when a local area doesn’t restrict STRs early enough they then bring in draconian measures like this.

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So glad that Vermont is standing up for small STRs. Those of us who do in-home STR should not have to ‘compete’ with faux ‘locals’ and apartment complexes masquerading as airbnbs who have no ‘skin in the game’ locally.

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See other thread on this topic here:

I am a small STR. Purchased the condo primarily to visit my Vermont daughter, 4-5 times per year. Invested lots of money (spent locally!!!) to rehab a derelict and vacant property. It is at a ski resort. The STR’s benefit the ski slope and the local economy with tourist dollars. A lot of people who use AirBnb like their own private space, as opposed to sharing the space with the owner. Imposing a primary residency requirement, if enforced, would deprive the ski resort of customers and the local cleaning team of income.

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The ski industry should be invested in opposing this, I would think. Instead of trying to completely derail it, write/call legislators pitching a tweak it to allow vacation home STR, one per owner. Your arguments are 1) ski and other tourism industry bringing $$ into Vermont; 2) you are a small business person with your rental and this benefits corporate lodging vs. your small business.
Post language on Airbnb community site, there is probably a Vermont group, with suggested language they can copy to send legislators.

I have to admit that I am not a fan of people who buy up properties with the goal of only doing Airbnb with them, as an investment or business. And I am like some other hosts who won’t stay at a corporate or investment property on Airbnb. However, there is this in-between of vacation homes that can be rented when they are not in use, as is your situation. It’s really a shame for a place to just sit empty when not being used. A lot of places make these rules because of the ‘damage done’ by people buying only for investment and not for personal use and these more ‘legit’ situations with vacation homes get axed along with them.

I read the document. And it is pretty clear that it is the hotel/inn industry that is behind this as they surely don’t like the competition. Though it does, at least, seem to accommodate Vermont residents that might winter or summer somewhere else (the 95 days allowed is a season), which regulations in some places have not accommodated.

It is probably not worth it. I have yet to hear of any successful reversal of regulations, but has anyone else? It’s a pretty steady direction to more regulations, not less.

What about doing mid-term (1-4 months) rentals of your condo? As long as each rental is at least 30 days, you won’t fall under these regulations. And you can plan your trips to visit your daughter in between your mid-term tenants.

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That’s your alternative. Do month-long rentals and market to groups of ski bums who will trade off weeks amongst themselves. This might require more monitoring (e.g., through once-a-week cleaning) by the co-host

But @pchmkpq27 , if you do these mid-term rentals elsewhere, not on Airbnb, then you would just have a lease and a deposit that you control like normal and that way you are generally covered for any damage or lack of cleaning. Another market is traveling healthcare, nurses and search do travel assignments and need housing typically for 90-93 days.

I don’t recommend doing these month+ rentals on Airbnb because you will technically have tenants and it’s better to have a written lease and a deposit you can deduct damages from with tenants, it’s a lot less worrty. Some hosts do it though.

You are seeing a backlash at the astonishing surge in real estate sales Vermont has experienced in the past year. Locals are alarmed at the influx of out of staters who are the majority of the buyers. Some, but of course not all are buying multiple properties and “Airbnbing “ them . This sets off alarm signals with locals afraid of oncoming cultural changes out of their control. Our very limited housing stock is rapidly being priced out of reach for many locals. It’s easy to point the finger at us hosts but the the problem is more one of a demographic shift than simple housing shortages. I would expect more regs down the road. Forget lobbying our Legislators, you’ll get nowhere. Vermont is controlled by the powers to be in Burlington.

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Looks like STR’s have an advocacy organization!!! Vermont Short-Term Rental Alliance.
Viewable at https://vtstra.org/
There is a strong likelihood that I will sign up and provide support to this group.

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