Here’s how RI offers Airbnb and Vrbo hosts to register their properties – at $50 per property

According to the Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation proposal, owners would have to register each of their properties with the state. A host who owns multiple properties will need to register each one separately at a cost of $50 per property, and renew their registration every two years, also $50. Hosts will submit their registration requests online.

The ministry said in a written statement that it established the fees by reviewing government entities that perform this type of registration, choosing one at the low end of the scale, while taking into account the fees to create the registry. DBR said it plans to have an electronic record by October 1.

The initial reaction of the legislator who proposed the bill was positive.

“I think they really achieved everything I wanted to,” said state Rep. Lauren Carson, a Democrat from Newport.

The bill came in the wake of concerns from residents of tourist-intensive areas, including Newport, about the effect short-term rentals were having on neighborhoods – both nuisance concerns and worries about the availability of housing stock for people to live in rather than visit. Cities across the state had tried various ways to bring the problem under control, leading to a patchwork of efforts.

For Carson, the reason for the law was simple: it’s about businesses that must be registered statewide.

“I applaud these companies for getting started,” Carson said. “I used to own a bed and breakfast in Newport; I know these are hard working people who run businesses for income. On the other hand, we have to treat them like a business.

Airbnb, one of the major platforms, was more circumspect when asked for its response to the proposed settlement.

“Airbnb has worked with hundreds of jurisdictions around the world, including Rhode Island and others across the United States, to develop reasonable homesharing rules and policies,” said Nathan Rotman, director of Airbnb’s main campaign for the United States and Canada, in an emailed statement. . “We will continue to work with the Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation as they develop their regulations, so that the implementation of this law is done in a legal manner that unlocks the economic benefits of home sharing. .”

The law, when first proposed, met with opposition from the short-term rental industry. But the General Assembly overruled McKee’s veto soon after its session began in January.

The law requires landlords who list their homes on third-party platforms to submit information including the landlord’s place of business, contact information, property address, number of rooms, and intended use of the property. Failure to register is subject to fines ranging from $250 for 30 days of non-compliance to $1,000 for more than 60 days.

Brian Amaral can be contacted at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @bamaral44.

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