Because it’s fairly easy to list a property for short-term rent, you may be asking yourself the question of “why do I need legal help with my vacation rental? I can do it all myself!” However, when you’re listing a property on Airbnb or plan or doing any sort of short-term rental, it’s vital that you understand what legal issues may arise.
These issues include drafting your short-term rental contract, local rental laws and regulations, the terms of service with the platforms such as Airbnb, VRBO and Booking.com and defamatory ratings and reviews which affect your reputation. Your rental contract can provide your best protection against poor ratings and reviews, as well as damage caused by guests. If you are a property manager of short-term rentals, you need a listing agreement with the property owners that is going to set expectations and reduce legal risk. You also have the requirements and rules of the various platforms such as Airbnb and VRBO that you must follow when using that site to rent your property, and set key rental agreement terms related to refunds, cancellation and property damage.
Without legal advice, you may find that you have unknowingly broken the law. You also need an expert in short-term rentals law to assist you should you find yourself facing a lawsuit or need to seek legal action against a tenant, property manager, property owner or the rental listing website.
One of the main reasons why short-term rental legal issues are so complex is because today’s online rental platforms also involve information technology law. Without a technology lawyer who is also familiar with rental law on your side, it can be difficult to fully protect yourself while renting out your vacation home or any other short-term rental property. There are a number of areas that go beyond landlord/tenant law, too, such as online defamation issues with unfair ratings or reviews of you or your property. Our short-term rental legal team can assist you with these extortion-motivated, fake or revenge reviews while also ensuring that your online and offline reputation is not damaged.
As Airbnb, VRBO, and other, similar services have become more and more popular, the laws surrounding them and short-term rentals in general have changed. These new laws do constrain what you can do and how much power the service has over your rental property. Some cities have actually banned short-term rentals through what many refer to as Airbnb rental laws. Other Airbnb laws limit how many properties in a certain area can be used for vacation rentals. Some cities now require you to obtain a business license or a special permit for vacation rentals.
We have experience in representing property owners and property managers with their legal needs, including:
The team at Traverse Legal is here to advise you and help you understand the legal issues you may face. Our real estate and rental law attorneys have the experience, and a proven track record with helping clients like you find success with their legal issues – here are just a few examples:
Ready to learn more about how our team can help you?