Bill would clarify authority to regulate short-term rentals

January 8, 2020 GMT

RUTLAND, Vt. (AP) — A bill introduced in the Vermont Legislature would give towns the authority to regulate short-term rentals in the age of online rental services like Airbnb and Vrbo.

Republican Rep. Jim Harrison, of Chittenden, introduced the bill Tuesday, the Rutland Herald reported.

Many towns have taken steps to regulate short-term rentals through ordinances or zoning bylaws, Harrison said.

“There’s some confusion as to what authority towns have in this arena,” he said. “What my bill does is it makes it clear if a town wants to regulate short-term rentals, they would have the means to do that.”

Under the proposal, short-term rentals are defined as “a furnished house, condominium, or other dwelling room or self-contained dwelling unit rented to the transient, traveling, or vacationing public for a period of fewer than 30 consecutive days and for more than 14 days per calendar year.”

Killington’s interim zoning administrator, Preston Bristow, said the town welcomes Harrison’s bill because it would give the town clear authority to regulate short-term rentals.

“We think it would be best to do it as an ordinance,” he said, adding that it’s faster and easier to enforce. The town is still taking steps to develop bylaws.