Airbnb Regulations in the US and Europe

Airbnb regulations have been popping up in major cities across the US and Europe in recent years. Local authorities around the world have started pushing back against Airbnb, particularly in the major cities across western Europe and the US.  Regulations have been introduced that either restricts hosts from renting out their homes or limitations on the amount of days have been put in place. 

On this page you can find an overview of all the different Airbnb regulations in different places. 

Airbnb Regulations in the US

New York

Airbnb regulations new york

Restrictions: In buildings with three or more units, renting out for less than 30 days is illegal, unless the owner is present during the rental. (source: New York Multiple Dwelling Law)

Fines: Hosts to be fined $1,000 for the 1st violation, $5,000 for the 2nd violation and $7,500 for the 3rd violation. 

Enforcement: Several cases of hosts being fined have been reported (here and here) and the city has allocated $2.9 million towards enforcement

Registration: Not currently required, although Airbnb have proposed a comprehensive set of clear, fair rules for home-sharing in New York City including registration


Chicago

airbnb regulations chicago

Restrictions: Both hosted and non-hosted stays are legal, but are allowed only in specific zoning districts and under strict conditions. Community associations (i.e. condominiums) are allowed to prohibit short-term rentals and be added to a “prohibited buildings” list   (source: Shared Housing Ordinance)

Fines: Hosts can be delisted and/or fined between $1,500 to $3,000 per violation, with each day that a violation exists being treated as a separate offense.

Enforcement: The city is not enforcing some penalties outlined in the new rules, as many listings are currently stamped with "city registration pending"

Registration: All hosts must be registered and can do so via Airbnb by clicking: Your Listings > Calendar and More > Then on the left hand menu, there's an item called "City Registration"


San Francisco

Airbnb regulations san francisco

Restrictions: Only Permanent residents are allowed to rent out their primary residences, and not second or vacation homes.  Rentals where the host is not present in the unit is limited to a maximum of 90 days per year. (source: Short-Term Residential Rental Starter Kit)

Fines: Hosts who rent out their apartments beyond the 90 days are subject to a daily fine of $484 for first offenders up to $968 for repeat offenders.  Rentals where the host is present in the unit are not subject to this limit.

Enforcement: Since 2015, San Francisco has issued over $1 million in fines to hosts (here and here)

Registration: All hosts must apply for a Short-Term Residential Rental Certificate and Business Registration Certificate, both of which can be done on the Airbnb website


Seattle

Airbnb regulations seattle

Restrictions: Short-term rental transactions currently operate outside of a solid regulatory framework in Seattle.  A new set of regulations have been proposed which would see hosts requiring a license and be limited to 2 dwelling units. (source: Seattle Short Term Rental DNS)

Fines: Not applicable at this time.

Enforcement: Not applicable at this time.

Registration: All rental property owners in Seattle must register their properties with the City and obtain a Seattle business license tax certificate. (source: Rental Registration and Inspection Ordinance)


Orlando

Airbnb regulations orlando

Restrictions: Most standard residential zoning districts do not allow for short-term rentals.  An accommodation that allows for a stay less than seven days is considered a hotel/motel, which are not allowed in most residential zoning districts. (source: City of Orlando Short Term Rentals)

Fines:  Not having a license can subject the owner to fines of $250 per day for non-compliance.  In Orange County, homes must be zoned as R-3 transient residential to legally be rented or leased for 30 days or less.  Repeat violators can be fined up to $1,000 per day.

Enforcement:  Code-enforcement leaders have received several complaints about homes being improperly used as rentals. Letters are sent to hosts notifying them of violations for the first offence, with hefty fines following for repeat violators (example here).

Registration: Hosts need to apply for an operating license as well as a business license and a tourism tax license from the county where their property is located.


Austin

Airbnb regulations austin

Restrictions: Austin is no longer accepting applications for Type 2 Short Term Rentals (single-family or duplex residences that are not occupied by the owner).  

A short-term rental may not be used by more than ten adults at one time; or six unrelated adults. (source: Austin Code Department)

Fines: Hosts without an operating license could be subject to fines up to $2,000 per day.

Enforcement:  Several cases have been reported of Austin's Code Enforcement officers actively seeking those who are operating without a license (here and here).

Registration: Hosts are required to get an inspection of the property and obtain an operating license (Ordinance No. 20160223-A.l). This applies to all properties (including rooms and guest houses) rented for less than 30 consecutive days.


Louisville

airbnb regulations louisville

Restrictions: The total number of guests is limited to no more than two times the number of bedrooms plus four individuals. For example if your home has 3 bedrooms, then 10 people may reside at one time.

Fines: Hosts failing to comply with regulations will eventually result in fines up to $1,000.

Enforcement:  So far, city officials have taken a lenient approach to enforcing the new rules with only a few dozen hosts receiving warnings. (source: WDRB)

Registration: Hosts must pay an annual $25 registration fee and file with the Metro Revenue Commission to pay transient occupancy taxes each year. Conditional use permits are required if you live in a Traditional Neighbourhood Zoning District e.g. Old Louisville or Limerick.


Philadelphia

Airbnb regulations Philadelphia

Restrictions: Primary residences can be rented out for 90 days or less per year without a permit, however these rentals may not exceed 30 consecutive days for any visitor.  (source: Phila Gov Limited Lodging Information)

Fines: Not applicable at this time.

Enforcement: Not applicable at this time

Registration:  If you rent for more than 90 days (but 180 days or less) per calendar year or you are renting a secondary residence/vacation home, you must obtain a use registration permit as a “Limited Lodging Home”. 


Las Vegas

Airbnb regulations Las Vegas

Restrictions: Short-term rentals less than 30 days are not allowed in Unincorporated Clark County (near the Strip), and most of Henderson.  A detailed map of prohibited areas can be found here. (source: City of Las Vegas Department of Planning)

Fines: Renting your home in a prohibited area is a misdemeanor criminal charge. Hosts could face jail time and a $1,000 fine.

Enforcement: There has been an increase in complaints made to the county with code enforcement officers investigating many of these complaints (here).

Registration: Hosts must obtain a business license, paying an annual fee of $500 for each rental unit and apply for either a Conditional Use Verification or a Special Use Permit.  

Owner-occupied homes with three bedrooms or less do not need the permit.

See also: Las Vegas Licensing system explained.


Los Angeles

Airbnb regulations Los Angeles

Restrictions: Hosts can rent out  their primary residence for a maximum of 180 days per year.  Renters and lessees must have written approval from the landlord.  Rent-controlled units are not eligible for home sharing. (source: Los Angeles Home Sharing Ordinance)

Fines: Homes that fail to comply with the city ordinance may be subject to fines of $500 or two times the nightly rent charged (whichever is greater).  Hosts home-sharing beyond the 180 day annual limit may be subject to fines of at least $2,000.

Enforcement: Los Angeles City Council is currently reviewing the Short-Term Rental Ordinance, and strict enforcement is being considered -- short-term rental platforms could be fined for refusing to turn over the addresses of rentals that had not registered with the city.

Registration: All hosts must register with the city and obtain a permit from the Department of City Planning.  Hosts must also obtain a Transient Occupancy Registration Certificate from the Office of Finance.


Miami

Airbnb regulations Miami

Restrictions:  Rentals in unincorporated Miami-Dade have occupancy limits capped at 180 days per year.

The maximum overnight occupancy should not exceed two people per room, plus two per property for a maximum of 12. During the day, capacity is limited to 16 people.

If you live 2,500 feet from a school, you will be required to ensure that a prospective guest is not a registered sexual offender or sexual predator.

Fines:  Fines for violations range from $100 for a first offense to $2,500 for a third offense within 24 months.

Enforcement: This new ordinance goes into effect in 90 days (January 2018).  Miami has a history of tough enforcement and levying some of the highest fines in the country (here).

Registration: Hosts must apply for a certificate of use and must obtain a vacation rental license with the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation.


Washington DC

Airbnb regulations Washington DC

Restrictions:  Current laws ban the rental of non-owner occupied houses for less than 30 days.  Home-sharing is only legal if the host is present for the duration of the guest's stay. Regulations are set to change under the latest proposed bill.  Hosts will only be able to register one residential unit, which must be their permanent residence. (source: Share Better)

Fines:  Hosts found in violation of the proposed bill could be fined up to $1,000 for the first violation, $4,000 for the second violation, and $7,000 for the third and subsequent violations. 

Enforcement: Tougher fines and clear transparency and reporting requirements are included in the proposed bill, however there is a grace period of 120 days after the law becomes effective so that hosts have adequate time to register for their Basic Business License. (source: Council of the District of Columbia)

Registration: All hosts must obtain a Basic Business License.


Boston

Airbnb regulations Boston

Restrictions:  Short-term rentals are currently unregulated in Boston, however a new bill has been proposed which would regulate Airbnb and other short-term rentals. (source: House Bill 3454)

Fines:  No fines or fees have been instituted as of yet.

Enforcement: Not applicable at this time.

Registration: Under the proposed bill, hosts will be required to register on the Short-Term Residential Rental Registry.


San Diego

Airbnb regulations San Diego

Restrictions:  Short-term rentals are currently unregulated, as San Diego's zoning codes do not define STRs at all.  City council is reviewing proposals to regulate short-term rentals with a hearing to be rescheduled. (source: City Council hearing cancelled)

Fines:  Not applicable at this time.

Enforcement: Under the current ordinance enforcement actions are unlikely to be taken however, hosts are required to pay taxes on all short-term rentals.

Registration: Hosts are currently required to obtain a Transient Occupancy Registration Certificate. (source: City of San Diego TOT)


Please note that although a lot of time and effort went into gathering this information and updating it, there's no guarantee that the information is correct and up to date. Airbnb regulations in the cities featured can change any day. Before you start hosting on Airbnb, it is advised to always check the local Airbnb regulations in your city and get professional advice.