Call-To-Action: Legislation Would Allow Towns to Ban/Restrict Home Rental

The Massachusetts House of Representatives is expected to take up a bill on Wednesday that seeks to tax, regulate, and potentially restrict short-term rentals in the Commonwealth.

We OPPOSE this legislation for two main reasons:

  1. The bill would grant cities and towns the explicit authority to restrict a property owner’s right to rent their unit on a short-term basis; and
  2. It would require homeowners to comply with onerous business regulations and administrative burdens that were never intended for the average homeowner.

We SUPPORT two amendments to protect homeowners.

  1. Amendment 6: Would strike a provision that would allow cities and towns to restrict short-term rentals by passing by-laws or ordinances that would include a limit on the number of days an owner may rent out a home or requiring that each home is an owner’s primary residence.By way of example, a city or town would be able to prohibit homeowners from renting out their property for more than 14 days per year, or from renting out their home in Berkshire County if it’s not their primary residence.

    In addition, by authorizing cities and towns to impose a business licensing requirement on short-term rentals, H.4314 would impair a fundamental attribute of private property ownership—the right to rent—and convert it to an unlawful business use for which the “privilege” of a license is required.

  2. Amendment 14: Would clarify language to ensure that Realtors® who collect rent and taxes from renters would be able to pass those funds on to the owner, without incurring any tax filing obligations.

Please contact your State Representative and let him or her know that this bill is bad for homeowners and private property rights in Massachusetts and ask that they support these amendments. 

Association Record Retention and Access

More on H.4314: