Short-Term Rental Debates Reach Fever Pitch in HI, MA and TN

The attempt to enact a comprehensive framework for short term rental oversight statewide proceeds in Hawaii. This week the measure, modeled after the San Francisco short term rental ordinance, was passed by the Senate committee on Ways and Means (WAM). AHLA provided testimony in support of the bill to encourage legislators to pass this legislation. The measure now proceeds for consideration by the full Senate, and then an expected conference committee with the Hawaii House of Representatives. Notably, the measure includes enforcement mechanisms of existing State laws and County land use ordinances and will apply to all transient accommodation brokers.

In addition, AHLA has been working in close partnership with MLA to urge Massachusetts legislators to enact taxation and regulations on the short-term rental industry. Earlier this week, the Massachusetts Senate voted on their short-term rental legislation (SB 2381), and it passed by a vote of 31-6. This is the third session in a row that the Senate has passed a similar taxation only bill. This session, AHLA in partnership with MLA, vigorously engaged with the Senate in opposition of this bill. As a result the Senate adopted strong anti-discrimination and data transparency provisions that will put us in a strong position as the legislation moves on to conference committee in the near future. We are working aggressively to positively impact the final outcome of the bill before it becomes law.

Senate passage comes on the heels of the Massachusetts House of Representatives vote on a short term rental bill which passed with overwhelming support, 117-30. Unlike the Senate bill, the House legislation (endorsed by AHLA and our state partner MLA) includes the following key provisions: statewide registry to be operated by the Department of Revenue; requirements of city and towns to enact ordinances and require inspections if they choose to accept tax revenue; allows municipalities to restrict the number of days, require a business license or outright ban short-term rentals; requires basic health and safety standards; and disallows any discrimination on any basis, including disability.

We now shift gears advocating our priorities as the legislation moves to conference committee, and will continue to work to ensure Gov. Charlie Baker approves the legislation once it reaches his desk by the end of session in July. Further, the City of Boston is expected to release their new version of municipal regulations in the coming weeks. 

And finally, the Tennessee State Senate passed bill SB 1086/HB 1020, which AHLA and the TnHTA has opposed throughout the process. However, before the Senate passed SB 1086, we were able to secure the adoption of an amendment that improved the bill slightly. While timing and next steps are uncertain at the moment, there is potential that the current legislation will move to a conference committee where we will continue to work in partnership with TnHTA to urge the Tennessee legislature not to pass preemption legislation this session.