Home lets get tougher

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

Destinations have been tightening up on how long you can you can rent a property as well as introducing safety and maintenance measures.

a range of homes are available but safety regulations will be tightened up

It is getting tougher, some say, to rent out your home or rooms in it.

 This isn’t to say that people who rent out rooms, flats, apartments and villas shouldn’t provide the same sort of safety procedures that hotels and villas have to provide. As a traveller, I want to know that the electrics have been tested and approved, that the building is structurally sound and that no short-cuts have been made during its conversion from home to apartments.

From a government’s point-of-view, short-term lets pay no taxes unlike hotels, campsites, caravan parks and more destination governments are clamping down on this. That could mean that prices rise as owners try and maintain the same levels of income to which they have become used.

The state of Washington in the north-west of the USA is the latest to try to monitor short-tern lets. New legislation means that all owners who offer short-term lets must pay taxes, maintain liability insurance and must follow consumer safety provisions.

The law says short-term rental operators register with the state tax collection agency and collect all local, state and federal taxes. Short-term rentals will also pay local lodging taxes which, the state says, helps pay for tourism-related activities in local communities across the state. I hope the latter part is true and that revenue won’t just go into a central fund.

Short-term rental providers must give emergency services contact information, a floor plan with fire exits and escape routes clearly marked, the maximum occupancy allowed in the rental and local contact information.

As you might imagine, the law has been urged by those that are feeling the pinch – the state hospitality association. And to some extent, I am in agreement with them – there needs to be more of a level playing field especially where safety is concerned.

The new law comes into play as from July 27th. Travellers can expect this sort of legislation to go into place not just in the USA but in many other destinations around the world.

Prepare for an increase in rental prices!

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