October 28, 2014

Status of Connecticut Airbnb Rentals

The Hartford Courant recently reported on municipal officials’ attitudes toward Airbnb rentals, of which there are nearly 700 in the state.  Airbnb is a website that allows travelers across the globe to connect with private homeowners and contract to rent a room or their entire home for several days or weeks.  As the OLReporter previously reported, while these short-term rentals may qualify as lodging facilities under existing statutory definitions, many state and municipal authorities do not enforce applicable laws.

According to the Hartford Courant, “[m]any Connecticut officials say their town zoning codes don't take short-term rentals into account, leaving Airbnb hosts in a sort of ambiguous legal limbo.”  This is a nationwide problem, NPR reports.  But as the number of Airbnb rentals in major cities grows, officials are starting to respond.  Recently, San Francisco legalized such rentals (with restrictions), while New York’s attorney general announced that about three-quarters of such New York City rentals are operating illegally.

Example of Airbnb listing.  The owner was interviewed by the Hartford Courant and recommended municipal officials authorize such rentals, as they may bring travelers into communities that might otherwise go unvisited, providing an economic boost.
Photo Source: Airbnb