City Council approves new rules for short-term rentals in Burlington

Published: Jun. 28, 2022 at 4:54 PM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - There are officially new rules for short-term rentals in the city of Burlington.

The long-argued-over proposal passed at the City Council meeting Monday night on a vote of 8-2.

Previously, short-term rentals were regulated as bed-and-breakfasts or hotels and motels. Now, they have their own set of rules designed to minimize their impact on the housing crisis. City councilors hope it will free up more rooms for long-term renting while continuing to encourage a healthy tourism industry.

Hosts can register their own primary residence as a whole unit short-term rental, or up to three rooms in their home as rentals.

Also, if hosts live on a lot that has fewer than five units, whether they be an accessory dwelling unit or another unit in their building, they can turn one of those into a short-term rental.

Hosts can only register one whole unit for short-term rental.

Units that are not on hosts’ owner-occupied properties brought much dissonance to the council. They ended up voting in a plan to allow a dwelling unit to be rented out if it’s not owner-occupied in two scenarios. One is if the unit is indicated as a seasonal home by the Burlington assessor. The other is what councilors are calling a housing swap. If you’d like to rent a unit that is not on the property where you reside, you can designate one unit as a short-term rental, as long as you rent another unit in the same building at affordable rates.

Also, if a landlord wants to terminate an existing tenancy or doesn’t renew for another year for the purpose of creating a short-term rental, the landlord must pay the relocation costs for the affected tenant.

Since this was just passed, there will be a cooling-off period, but rental owners should be able to register by some time in July.

Another brand new part of this ordinance will be an extra 9% tax, similar to the hotel-motel tax for people using short-term rentals that will go directly into the housing fund to help build more affordable housing in the city.

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