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):

Melissa Horn

Regulatory Contact(s):

Melissa Horn

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

Successfully Navigating a Covid-19 Response in the Vacation Rental Sector (ShortTermRentalz, Aug. 24, 2020)

The European Cities Using the Pandemic As a Cure for Airbnb (Intelligencer, Aug. 13, 2020)

Rural Airbnb Bookings Are Surging as Vacationers Look to Escape the Coronavirus (CNBC, Aug. 6, 2020)

Short-Term Rentals Weathered COVID-19 Better than Hotels, Data Firms Say (S&P Global Market Intelligence, Jul. 28, 2020)

Will Airbnb Survive or Fold in 2020? (Plus, What This Means for STR Investors) (Bigger Pockets, Jun. 21, 2020)

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

The Short-Term Rental Debate

The Rise of Short-Term Rentals: Why Short-Term Rentals Are Becoming More Sought After Than Ever Before (Journal of Property Management, Mar./Apr. 2020) E

The Effect of Home-Sharing on House Prices and Rents: Evidence from Airbnb (National Bureau of Economic Research, Mar. 4, 2020)

The PROs & CONs of Short-Term Rentals (UNITS Magazine, June 2019)

The Economic Costs and Benefits of Airbnb (Economic Policy Institute, Mar. 26, 2019)

Making a Business of "Residential Use"; The Short-Term-Rental Dilemma in Common-Interest Communities (Emory Law Journal, 2019) E


Lightfoot Proposal Would Ban Single-Night Vacation Rental Bookings in Chicago (Chicago Tribune, Aug. 25, 2020)

Thousands of Online Listings Are Violating L.A.’S New Short-Term Rental Law (Los Angeles Times, Aug. 9, 2020)

Short Term Rental Regulations: Laws, Licenses and Taxes (Lodgify, Mar. 6, 2020)

10 Cities with Airbnb Legal Issues in 2020 (Mashvisor, Dec. 16, 2019)

Miami Beach Short-Term Rental Closure Gets Underway (Short Term Rentalz, Jul. 17, 2020)

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

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

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

Websites & Other Resources

2019 US Vacation Home Counties Report (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.

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