Legal Matters & TaxesThe Boston Real Estate Market for Short-term Rentals: New Airbnb Boston Regulations in 2018 by Jenna Ramadan May 6, 2018April 25, 2018 by Jenna Ramadan May 6, 2018April 25, 2018What’s Up Airbnb Boston?Short-term rentals are usually a delight to invest in. They are the lightweights of real estate and are the type of property you can manage with more ease than others. However, that may not be the case with Airbnb Boston. A new Airbnb law has been introduced to Airbnb hosts. Renting out a room on Airbnb has become the next best thing for real estate investors.With the new Airbnb laws being implemented, you need to be aware of how your Boston Airbnb rentals are affected. Here, we present you with the new Airbnb regulations, along with the existing Airbnb Boston laws. Existing Airbnb Boston LawsAlthough this list is not exhausted, we can give you a pretty good idea of the current Airbnb Boston laws that have been established since 2015. As a real estate investor, it is your duty to get a full understanding of the market you plan to invest in. That includes an understanding of Boston Airbnb rentals and the regulations that come with choosing to invest in them. Below, you will find a compilation of the current Airbnb Boston laws. Business RegistrationIn order to operate an Airbnb, the city of Boston requires you as a business owner to apply and obtain a business certificate every four years. This certificate is distributed to you from the office of the city clerk. Make sure you get this certificate to avoid troubles with the law for renting out a room on Airbnb illegally. Zoning Code GuidelinesThe Boston Zoning Code provides the regulation of uses in specific Boston neighborhoods. Check these guidelines out to determine whether your Airbnb listing might implicate zoning definitions. This could be definitions such as “use,” accessory use,” “dwelling,” “lodging house,” “boarding house,” and “family.” Read up!Related: Where Should You Invest in the Boston Real Estate Market?Rental RegistrationThe inspectors of Boston require that you register your property if you do not plan to be present at the time of occupancy. This registration is done annually, with an inspection of the property taking place every five years. This is an important one, as it can make or break your Airbnb hosting dreams. Avoid the potential fees or fines and register. TaxesAh, those sweet taxes. The City of Boston collects a room occupancy tax from you if you are operating with Airbnb or the like. To get details on whether or not the tax applies to your listing, refer to the Massachusetts Room Occupancy Tax Guide. A second tax called the Massachusetts excise tax may also apply, so read up on Section 64G(3) of the state tax code. Be aware, that is all we’re asking. It will save you in the long run. Airbnb Boston’s New Airbnb LawNow we get into the good stuff. Now that you have the basic laws down, we can move onto the new Airbnb law that had everyone talking at the start of 2018.So let’s talk a bit more about this law. Mayor Walsh explained that this new ordinance contributes to their goal of reducing the housing costs. The proposal does this by creating disincentives to take units used for short-term rentals off the market. This is unfortunate for real estate investors like you because fewer units on the market means no making money in real estate. We know that is not what you want, but we must abide by the regulations to avoid any trouble. Related: Boston Real Estate InvestingThe DetailsLet’s get into the nitty-gritty of what this Airbnb Boston ordinance aims to do and how real estate investors like yourself can either work around it or adjust accordingly. RegistrationThe ordinance categorizes short-term rentals into three types: Limited Share Unit: an individual rents out a room or space in their residence Home Share Unit: An individual rents out their entire primary residence Investor Unit: a non-owner, non-tenant unit that is rented outThat’s right, you are considered to be an investor unit if you decide on renting out a room on Airbnb. Airbnb Boston is a questionable rental market due to this regulation. Depending on the property type, you will be inclined to pay annual fees of $25, $100, and $500 dollars.90- Day LimitWe didn’t forget about that 90-day limit that “home share” and “investor” units have to abide by. The logic to work Airbnb Boston around this 90-day limit is to rent out your property for 9 months a year and go full Airbnb in the 3 months of summer. That is normally where the real traffic for Airbnb guests is so you can make the most of it without breaking any rules. “Limited” share units do not fall under this limit. Code ViolationAs the ordinance is applied, it will prohibit the listing of any properties with code violations. This includes building codes, sanitary codes, zoning codes, fire codes, the list goes on. If you have any hopes of being a part of Airbnb Boston, avoid violating any of these codes, as you may lose your ability to rent out your investment propertyA complaint process will be set up in order to report any violations, and fines would be distributed as needed. As we mentioned from before, the Inspectional Services Department will oversee the short-term rentals.Why is This Ordinance A Part of Airbnb Boston?Mayor Walsh states that, “Preserving Boston’s affordability is key to keeping our communities stable and ensuring every person and family who wants to live here can afford to do so.” These new regulations provide the framework to regulate short-term rental units. The ordinance aims to meet the evolving needs of the industry while still protecting occupants. One of the many concerns is to minimize the impact on surrounding neighbors of these units. To Airbnb Boston, or Not to Airbnb Boston?The golden question arises, and realistically, there is no right or wrong answer. Not even a straightforward answer at that. Although Mashvisor cannot give you the straight answer, we can give you the straight analytics. We are your tool for the real estate numbers. If you are interested in Airbnb Boston and want to know what occupancy rates, cash on cash return, return on investment, or cap rate you can expect, we are who to go to.Related: How To Find An Investment Property Using Analytics With the simple click of a button, we are ready to give you the analytics you need to make that important decision. Wherever you decide to put your money, we are in one place: the tips of your fingers. Airbnb Boston needs some extra love and care, but it is possible. It all comes down to what you want as a real estate investor, and how you are able to adjust to Airbnb regulations. To learn about your options for signing up for our services, click here. Start Your Investment Property Search! START FREE TRIAL Boston MALocation 0FacebookTwitterGoogle +PinterestLinkedin Jenna RamadanJenna is Content Writer at Mashvisor with a passion for creative writing. She enjoys covering all aspects of the real estate investment business. Previous Post Is Property Investment More Profitable Than Stock Investment? Next Post Financing a Rental Property: How to Buy a House with No Money Down Related Posts Why Real Estate Property Is the Best Option for Cash Investment Investment Property Costs to Consider This 2018 Capital Gains on Rental Property: What Is It and How to Avoid It What Are the Top 10 States with Lowest Property Tax Rates in 2018? How to Leverage the 1031 Exchange to Grow Your Wealth What’s the Legal Way to Deal With Rent Arrears? What to Do With a Tenant Not Paying Rent Airbnb Regulations by City Part 1 – Austin, Nashville, and San Diego The Most Common Reasons for Lawsuits between Landlord and Tenant Get Cash and Defer Taxes Using a Partial 1031 Exchange How to Find Out If There Is a Lien on a Property Which are the US cities with the least Airbnb legal issues at the beginning of 2018?