Because it’s fairly easy to list a property for short-term rentals, you may ask yourself, “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 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, property management contracts, 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 the best protection against poor ratings and reviews and damage caused by guests. If you are a property manager of short-term rentals, you need a listing agreement with the property owners that will set expectations and reduce legal risk. The laws surrounding short-term rentals do vary from state to state, and they are not always easy to understand. On top of these laws, 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.
Both Airbnb and VRBO have Terms of Service (TOS) and various policies that affect your legal rights if something goes wrong. No firm has litigated more cases involving Airbnb Terms of Service arbitration lawsuits than Traverse. It is best to avoid trouble before something bad happens, and your house burns down in a fire started by a guest, Airbnb terminates your account for no reason and cancels all your reservations, or Airbnb refuses to make your rental payouts. You also need an expert in short-term rentals law to assist you should you find yourself facing or filing 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 several 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 ensuring your online and offline reputation is not damaged.
As Airbnb, VRBO, and other similar services have become increasingly popular, the laws surrounding them and short-term rentals, in general, have changed. These new laws constrain what you can do and how much power the service has over your rental property. Some cities have 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 get a business license or a special permit for vacation rentals.
Before you join a short-term rental website, it’s vital that you understand the laws in your particular area. If you do not, you could face stiff legal fines. We can help you understand what laws might apply to your location and ensure that you follow those laws when renting your property as a short-term vacation rental.
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 of 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? Contact the real estate and short-term rental Attorneys at Traverse Legal today.
If you are an owner, and you are having a dispute with Airbnb, you need the help of an experienced attorney. You can get legal relief, whether it is individually or collectively. There are numerous reasons why you would need to arbitrate against Airbnb. The company does not always follow the terms of its extensive agreement with property owners.