According to the 2016 NAR Investment and Vacation Home Buyers Survey, most respondents purchased a vacation property for personal use, but, of investment buyers, 50% purchased with the intent of renting to others. Renting out a vacation home can offset the costs of this investment until retirement. But what happens when a community acts to restrict short-term rentals?

Political Advocacy

Current Legislation/Regulation

None at this time.


Issue summary
NAR Federal Issues Tracker

Legislative Contact(s):

Hugh Morris

Regulatory Contact(s):

Hugh Morris

What is the fundamental issue?

Many localities in areas across the country are considering or adopting ordinances that limit or prevent the ability of property owners to rent out properties on a short-term basis. The dynamics of this issue are complex. The infringement upon property rights is a common theme when local governments limit the use of property. Property ownership includes the right to gain income from property; whereas local governments are granted the legal authority to regulate land use within their jurisdiction by police powers and/or zoning regulations. The natural complexities of short-term rentals also create a division of positions among NAR’s membership.

I am a real estate professional. What does this mean for my business?

Rental property especially in vacation destinations may become less desirable to buyers and investors if restrictions are placed upon the amount of time property may be rented or short-term rentals are banned all together.

NAR Policy:

NAR has not adopted an official position on this issue; however, state and local REALTOR®associations may adopt official positions for short-term rental ordinances and/or laws.

Legislative/Regulatory Status/Outlook

There are no federal legislative or regulatory proposals.

NAR Committee:

State and Local Issues Policy Committee


NAR Library & Archives has already done the research for you. References (formerly Field Guides) offer links to articles, eBooks, websites, statistics, and more to provide a comprehensive overview of perspectives. EBSCO articles (E) are available only to NAR members and require a password.

Impact of COVID-19

Take These Steps if You're Renting a Vacation Home during the Pandemic (Consumer Reports, Jun. 16, 2020)

Airbnb is Poised for a Comeback after a Brutal Spring (CNBC, Jun. 16, 2020)

Unraveling COVID-19 Hygiene Liability Issues for Short-Term Rentals (PhocusWire, Jun. 11, 2020)

The Latest Trend in Vacation Rentals: Long-Term Stays (The New York Times, May 26, 2020)

Seasonal Rentals Spike in Tourism Hotspots as Vacation Rental Hosts Wait out COVID-19 (realtor.com®, May 20, 2020)

COVID-19 Put a Pause on Short-Term Rentals. Manatee is Ready to Let Visitors Check in (The Bradenton Herald, May 19, 2020) E

Is it Safe to Rent an Airbnb or Vacation Home Right Now? (TODAY, May 14, 2020)

Will Short-Term Rentals Bounce Back in the Fall? (Millionacres, May 8, 2020)

How Short-Term Rental Owners Can Withstand the Coronavirus Impact (Multi-Housing News, Apr. 7, 2020)

Win, Lose, Compromise

Can Short-Term Rental Owners Withstand the Impact of the Coronavirus? (Mann Report, Jun. 15, 2020)

States Restrict Short-Term Rentals in Response to Pandemic (Avalara, Jun. 12, 2020)

Short-Term Rentals Rise as U.S. Reopens for Business (Realty Biz News, Jun. 11, 2020)

Hope is On the Horizon: How the Short-Term Rental Industry Will Recover from the Pandemic (Forbes, Jun. 9, 2020)

Short-Term Rental Market Faces Consolidation as Start-Ups and Small Landlords Offload Properties (CNBC, May 30, 2020)

To Airbnb or to Not Airbnb? (REALTOR® Magazine, Jan. 31, 2019)


Mayor Clarifies Vacation Rental Reopening Rule (Hawaii Tribune Herald, Jun. 18, 2020)

Santa Fe Wants to Tighten Restrictions on Short-Term Rentals (Santa Fe New Mexican, Jun. 16, 2020) E

Short Term Rentals Now Open in Northern Michigan (UpNorthLive, Jun. 3, 2020)

Publication 527 (2017), Residential Rental Property (Internal Revenue Service, May 27, 2020)

Panhandle Vacation Rentals Cleared to Reopen (CBS 12, May 20, 2020)

Tax Topic 415 - Renting Residential and Vacation Property (Internal Revenue Service, Feb. 13, 2020)

Are Short Term Rental Laws Constitutional? (FindLaw, Apr. 1, 2019)

* Please check with local government in your rental property area for information on permits, taxation, and regulations.

Websites & Other Resources

2019 NAR Investment and Vacation Home Buyers Survey (National Association of REALTORS®, Oct. 2019)

Short Term Rental Advocacy Center — The Short-Term Rental Advocacy Center (STRAC) is a broad-based coalition of property owners and managers, hosts, travelers and local businesses that recognizes the value of short-term rentals to both travelers and the local communities they visit.

Rent Responsibly — Through efforts to advocate, celebrate, and educate, Rent Responsibly enables fellow short-term rental stakeholders to collaborate more effectively and efficiently in creating a sustainable future. We help our committed members around the world protect their right to rent and take a leading role in improving our communities.

Vacation Rental Management Association (VRMA) — VRMA works worldwide on behalf of our manager and supplier members to advance the vacation rental industry through education, information, networking, research, and advocacy.


Airbnb for Property Investors (eBook)

Buying a Second Home (eBook)

Create Killer Vacation Rental Property Photos (Kindle, eBook)

Complete Guide to Investing in Rental Properties (Kindle, eBook)

The Complete Guide to Real Estate Finance for Investment Properties (Kindle, eBook)

How a Second Home Can Be Your Best Investment (Kindle, eBook)

How to Succeed and Make Money with Your First Rental House (eBook)

Leases & Rental Agreements (eBook)

The Real Estate Investor's Tax Strategy Guide (Kindle, eBook)

The Second Homeowner’s Handbook: A Complete Guide for Vacation, Income, Retirement, and Investment (Kindle, eBook)

Vacation Rental Management 411 (Kindle, eBook)

Have an idea for a real estate topic? Send us your suggestions.

The inclusion of links on this page does not imply endorsement by the National Association of REALTORS®. NAR makes no representations about whether the content of any external sites which may be linked in this page complies with state or federal laws or regulations or with applicable NAR policies. These links are provided for your convenience only and you rely on them at your own risk.


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