Policymakers

Policymakers

Our goal is to help policymakers make informed decisions about legislation that impacts vacation rental professionals, guests, and the industry at-large.

We encourage all policymakers to review our policy guide (below), in addition to the resources available on this site.

VRMA Policy Guide

VRMA believes that government policies must continue to promote and preserve the value of professionally managed vacation/short-term rentals. As the leading organization in the industry, VRMA supports efforts to regulate and standardize rules within the lodging market.

Our policy guide outlines VRMA's position on a variety of important topics related to the industry. 

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Property Rights

Ability to Rent

  • VRMA supports and encourages communities to recognize the rights of property owners to rent their primary and secondary properties.
  • VRMA believes legislation that places limitations on the frequency or duration of stay should be done as a last resort, and only in cases where it is backed by data and deems such restrictions necessary.
  • VRMA strongly believes that communities must provide equal protections to all residential properties.

Limitations on Frequency, Duration of Stay, or Occupancy

  • VRMA supports regulations that place limitations on the number of occupants per unit that are uniform to current rules for other existing residential structures.
  • VRMA opposes the placement of unenforceable time restrictions on property guests that are not uniform with other residential property uses and hotels, motels, and bed-and-breakfasts.
  • VRMA endorses reasonable standards or occupancy based on recognized uniform building and zoning codes.

Land Use and Zoning

Residential vs. Commercial

  • VRMA believes that all uses of rental properties are residential use, and the application of rules on vacation rentals should be uniform, simple to follow, justified, proportionate, and enforceable.
  • VRMA opposes classifying vacation rental properties as commercial use by comparing them to hotels.
  • VRMA opposes health and safety regulations that specifically target vacation rental properties and create a burden of compliance beyond regulations in place for similarly zoned properties.
  • VRMA opposes parking regulations that specifically target short-term vacation rental properties and encourages communities to maintain the same parking regulations that are in place for other similarly zoned properties.

Economic Impact

  • VRMA encourages communities to support the thousands of small businesses that operate and maintain vacation rentals and acknowledge their economic impact.
  • VRMA recognizes the positive impacts that short-term vacation rentals have on local communities through taxes, increased economic activity, and promoting the local travel and tourism industry.

Tax Policy

Lodging Taxes

  • VRMA believes that, where required, vacation rental property owners are legally responsible for the collection and remittance of clear and concise transient occupancy or lodging taxes, whether they use a professional property manager or not.
  • VRMA supports and encourages voluntary efforts by property managers, online travel agencies (OTA), and other online platforms to assist in occupancy or lodging tax compliance. VRMA also encourages governments to carefully consider the adoption of voluntary collection agreements on local property managers and connected parties.
  • VRMA supports localities accepting online remittance of lodging taxes.
  • VRMA encourages taxation parity among all hospitality sectors. Additional taxes should not be placed on vacation rentals that ultimately place the burden on the customer. All members of the hospitality sector should be held accountable for remittance of all required taxes.

State and Local Taxes

  • VRMA supports state and federal laws that preserve secondary home tax deductions.
  • VRMA opposes additional targeted taxation on the travel and tourism industry that discourages consumer spending on leisure and vacation industries and negatively impacts state and local economic activity.
  • VRMA discerns that vacation rental properties are residential and the property taxes applied to those properties should reflect that designation.

Compliance and Enforcement

  • VRMA supports the use of fair data and research-based, proportional, and enforceable rules for property owners and managers to adhere to in order to ensure professional and respectful operations.
  • VRMA supports open and transparent permitting processes and fee structures that are equitable and comparable to that of all other residential properties and do not discriminate against or show bias for residency requirements, use, advertising methods, booking platforms, or business models.
  • VRMA supports the creation of industry standards and accreditation to encourage professionalism and consistency of vacation rental property management.
  • VRMA supports the application of simple and accessible online registration programs for short-term vacation property rentals.
  • VRMA supports rules that require a local contact to ensure compliance with local regulation.

Consumer Protection and Enforcement

Professionalism

  • VRMA supports consumer protection efforts to curb fraudulent travel sites and property listings.
  • VRMA encourages communities to embrace professional vacation rental management standards and best practices to develop localized consumer protection measures.
  • VRMA professionalizes the vacation rental industry with first-class education to ensure accurate listings, clean and safe homes, clear refund and cancellation policies, and more.

Hospitality and Alternative Accommodations

  • VRMA believes it is in the best interest of all participants of the travel and tourism industry to support local economies through fair competition.
  • VRMA supports transparent and robust competition in the travel and tourism industry to provide consumers with options that suit their preferences and ensure fair pricing.
  • VRMA believes in and supports the adoption of transparent fee structures in the travel industry to level the playing field and encourage competition.

Health and Safety Standards

  • VRMA encourages communities to adopt the VRMA and Vacation Rental Housekeeping Professionals SafeHome program to ensure guest and employee safety. 
  • VRMA encourages communities and property managers to develop policies and programs to identify human trafficking by developing relationships among law enforcement, employees, and management companies.
  • VRMA supports rules that require the posting of local and state safety laws, including, but not limited to, emergency contact information, health notifications, and directions to local emergency and public safety facilities.
  • VRMA supports the adherence to simple, justified, proportionate health and safety standards and inspections.
  • VRMA encourages property managers and communities to explore voluntary adoption of new technologies to address health and safety concerns before enacting stringent and untested regulations.

Good Neighbor Policies

  • VRMA encourages communities and property managers to jointly develop and distribute “good neighbor” policies for adherence by property owners, managers, neighbors, and guests.
  • VRMA encourages stakeholders to consistently educate and engage the community about the importance of vacation rentals that are managed in a professional manner.
  • VRMA supports “good neighbor” policies that require posting of local and state quality-of-life laws, including, but not limited to, noise ordinances, trash pickup rules and time, parking restrictions, and other community rules by which all residents must abide.

Noise Ordinances

VRMA supports the enforcement of noise ordinances that:

  • Maintain uniformity to all residential structures in the community.
  • Do not specifically and unfairly target one particular use of a property.
  • Encourage self-governing rules on parties and other loud situations, such as requirements that guests notify managers and property owners of incidents on the property.

Environment

  • VRMA supports efforts to keep our natural spaces clean and protected for generations through rules to protect and preserve the natural environment.
  • VRMA supports environmental protection rules that mitigate the risk of natural disasters.
  • VRMA supports efforts to curb noise, light, and other pollution that can negatively affect a community.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Anti-Discrimination

  • VRMA strongly supports local, state, and federal laws to protect individuals’ equal access to housing and employment.
  • VRMA supports public and private efforts to reduce discrimination including efforts that limit barriers for individuals to obtain economic security.
  • VRMA supports public and private efforts to reduce discrimination against travelers or individuals seeking accommodation at a vacation rental property.