WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT SHORT-TERM RENTAL LAW & PLATFORMS SUCH AS AIRBNB AND VRBO.
We have an Airbnb Lawyer or VRBO Attorney With the Expertise You need.
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.
HOW DO I PROTECT MYSELF WHEN RENTING A VACATION HOME?
As an Airbnb Lawyer And Airbnb Host with Three Rental Properties, I Understand The Risks.
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.
LEGAL ISSUES WITH SHORT-TERM RENTALS.
Renting Your Private Home Presents Several Unique Legal Risks. An Airbnb Lawyer Can Help Reduce Those Risks.
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.
RENTAL LAWS RELATED TO AIRBNB AND VRBO.
Beware Local Zoning Laws Which Prohibit or Limit Short-Term Rentals.
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.
TRAVERSE LEGAL HELPS CLIENTS NAVIGATE AIRBNB, VRBO, AND STR LEGAL ISSUES.
We have experience in representing property owners and property managers with their legal needs, including:
- Contract drafting. From straightforward rental agreements and property management contracts to specific agreements for services like Airbnb or VRBO, our team is equipped to review, draft, advise, and negotiate any related rental or property management contract. Our real estate contract attorneys ensure that all your contractual needs are covered so you can worry about building your business rather than crossing all the “t’s” and dotting the “i’s.”
- Removal, suspension, or deletion from the Airbnb or VRBO Hosting Platform. The number of hosts being removed or suspended from the Airbnb and VRBO platform, often without explanation, continues to increase. Airbnb’s Terms of Service purport to allow Airbnb some discretion related to your participation as a member of the platform. But oftentimes, AIrnb removes or suspends hosts without explanation and later admits that removal was in error. In other instances, Airbnb is simply wrong about its removal decision. In the meantime, Airbnb cancels all your future bookings with your guests and the rental income for those reservations.
- Airbnb Host Account Review: What to do when Airbnb Trust and Safety team reviews your hosting account and threatens termination.
- Reputation Management. Our short-term rental hosts and property managers live and die by their ratings and five-star reviews. What happens if a guest threatens to leave a bad review if you don’t comply with their unreasonable demand? We can help you with your rental terms to provide the leverage you will need to ensure that reviews and ratings are fair and accurate. If an incomplete or false review is posted on the Airbnb or VRBO platform, you will need the guest to agree and request its removal. Our attorneys can provide the leverage you need to remove false reviews.
- Dispute resolution. The Traverse Legal team has vast experience with a short-term rental, Airbnb, and VRBO-related mediation, arbitration, and litigation. We have represented hundreds of Airbnb Hosts in arbitration against Airbnb for failing to make payouts, failing to apply the cancellation policy agreed to by hosts or guests, canceling reservations and blocking calendars, and other issues. Whether representing individual property owners or property management groups, we know the issues and have successfully navigated our client’s desired outcomes. We are class counsel to one of the largest class actions against Airbnb ever filed.
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:
- We represent hosting business and property managers in the short-term rental market, draft rental terms, rental agreements, and property management agreements to reduce risk and increase leverage if something goes wrong.
- We provide representation for hosts subjected to extortion by guests threatening to post false or defamatory reviews.
- We provide language for use by hosts to ensure that reviews and ratings do not unfairly fail to mention key issues and facts when leaving reviews.
- We provide advice and counsel working with hosts trying to get platforms such as Airbnb, VRBO, and Booking.com to play fair, be transparent, and be accountable to their Terms of Service (TOS) and policies.
- No one wants to litigate, but sometimes you have no choice. We handle more dispute resolution in the short-term rental markets than any other law firm.
- If your local zoning board or municipal regulations prohibit or restrict short-term rentals, we can advise how best to organize your community to change the rules and regulations to permit you to operate.
Ready to learn more about how our team can help you? Contact the real estate and short-term rental Attorneys at Traverse Legal today.