Short-term rentals are proving quite beneficial for both investors and renters. But these benefits come with a price and a lot of effort for those who invest in short-term rentals, even though it is easy to start a short-term rental business by uploading a few high-quality pictures of the property on reliable property listing platforms like Airbnb, Vrbo, or others.
You must mention a few details and link your bank account; your short-term rental business will be up and running quickly. But there is much more to it, especially in the legal department.
A reliable property manager must follow the local rules and regulations, including the taxes and other aspects of the short-term rental business. Business owners can only pay attention to these legal aspects if they face the consequences at some point.
Legal Considerations for Running a Short-Term Rental Business
You must pay attention to the legal matters of your business if you want to save yourself from any inconvenience and issues afterward.
If you cannot deal with all these legal problems in your short-term rental business, consider taking professional help from a reliable platform. By getting a trusted expert’s help, you will only have to invest in the property, and the rest will be taken care of by techvestor. This surely saves you the worry of all the legal processes and other business issues.
Here are some fundamental legal considerations for running a short-term rental business.
Licenses and Permits
A license lets the state know you use a specific property for the short-term rental industry. It explains that your property is up to code or standards. Moreover, it complies with health and safety regulations. The two main licenses you need to run your short-term rental business are:
- General Business License: In most states, you require a general business license to run any business, including the short-term rental industry.
- Short-Term Rental License: You will also need a short-term rental license to ensure your property meets all the health and safety standards. It implies that your property has smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and carbon monoxide detectors. Moreover, it also ensures that your property is up to code. You must also mention in the application that your neighbors know you are renting the property and following appropriate zoning laws.
The requirements of licenses and permits vary depending on the number of nights per year that you will be renting your property. Also, mention your expected income with your rental property business. You can have a successful renting business with a license for a long time.
Zoning ordinances regulate the rental of a particular property in towns and cities. The zoning regulations determine the limits of property location, the types of properties allowed in the area, the number of cars allowed to park in the neighborhood, and many more things.
You can easily find the zoning requirements for property in that area by simply going online. But make sure that you are getting information from a reliable source. You must pay attention to these ordinances or requirements because a minor complaint can lead to extensive fines and legal action from the government.
If you buy vacation rental property, you will be subjected to new taxes specific to short-term rental properties. You must pay the occupancy tax for rental property, also called hotel, lodging, or tourist tax. As a business owner, you must pay these taxes and income and self-employment taxes.
You might need help from an accountant or a tax professional to keep track of your taxes. They will help you determine the costs you must deduct or claim. Moreover, it becomes easier to keep track of all the expenses, especially the taxes, with professional help. The consultant will also guide you about your bank account or credit cards and let you know if you need separate ones for your rental business.
Another thing you will have to consider if you invest in short-term rentals is the legal restrictions imposed on properties in that area. These restrictions might vary from place to place. Here is a list of standard legal limits you might have in various regions.
- Prohibition of short-term rentals in some cities or areas.
- Limitation of the number of rental properties in a particular region.
- Multiple dwelling laws
These legal restrictions or laws keep changing. Therefore, you must keep your knowledge about these restrictions up-to-date in the region where you have your rental property.
If you have a business featuring short-term rental investment, building codes for your properties are not your preference, but they are a legal requirement for your business. It would help if you had a clean and safe environment for your guests, no matter what. Most local governments have implied building codes and published guidelines for maintaining short-term rentals.
Therefore, you must prove your investment properties’ habitability, health, and safety. You might even have to inspect before you are allowed your first guest. So, call the building department or search for your building codes before running your short-term rental business.
If you are into short-term rental investing, you must know that this business requires as many legal processes as any other business. You must do everything from getting the permits and licenses to dealing with the taxes and maintaining your short-term rental properties as a business owner. Slight negligence might have serious legal consequences, including hefty fines or even banning your rental property.
So, to run a successful short-term rental business, you must ensure that all your legal processes are taken care of. If you need legal experience or want to do it, you can always hire professionals to take care of the job for you.