What are the most common rules and regulations applicable to a short-term rental?

by Quatro Legal Real Estate Team | Jan 25, 2024 | Article, Real Estate

As we explained in a previous blog, as per the Law for the Regularization of Non-Traditional Lodging and its Intermediation through Digital Platforms and its Regulations, the Framework Law, every user of a lodging service has the obligation to adhere to, and be respectful of, the usage rules or internal regulations of the short-term rental properties they visit. However, since the law is not comprehensive and does not state what are the rules and regulations that shall be applicable, it is every owners responsibility to draft their internal policies that users and guests of the short term rental must accept, adhere and sign, thereby agreeing to acceptable behaviors and understanding the circumstances under which the short-term rental may be terminated before the originally agreed-upon duration and/or the legal actions that maybe undertaken after its termination.

Below you will find the most common rules and regulations applicable to short-term rentals every owner should consider:

  • Check-in and check-out rules: Like all lodging facilities short-term rentals have hours to check-in and out for better service or to avoid penalties and fines for overstaying.
  • Use restrictions: This is a very obvious one, but it is sometimes omitted by property owners or managing companies. It is essential at all times to make clear to guests the use or uses they can provide to the property, room, or condo by defining the activities that may be carried out in the property and the ones that are restricted or prohibited.
  • Restrictions on events and parties: In line with the previous use restriction, many short-term rentals prohibit events, social gatherings, and parties. This is to protect the peace and quiet of neighbors and prevent damage to the property.
  • Cleanliness and health policies: These types of policies are instituted to ensure a property is clean and safe for the guests which became important since the COVID outbreak. These types of policies may include regulations on how to manage sheets, lines, towels, bathrooms, trash and recyclable materials, pests, items of personal use, etc.
  • Noise restrictions: Short-term rentals are often located in residential areas like condominium property which have internal rules and regulations and/or in areas that are subject to zoning laws. These rules are important to protect the peace and quiet of neighbors but also to comply with sanitary operational rules that may be established by the health authorities. Typical noise restrictions include curfews on loud noise and prohibitions on parties and events that if not respected could imply fines and/or closure of the establishment.
  • Adults only or age requirements: Some short-term rentals may have age requirements for guests or are only suitable for adults restricting the presence of minors. For example, a rental may require that all guests be at least 25 years old or prohibit children under a certain age. These requirements are often in place to protect the property from damages, cater to a specific clientele and to avoid disruptions to neighbors or other guests.
  • Pet restrictions: You may want your pet to be with you at all times, however, some short-term rentals may restrict or prohibit pets in general or once they reach a specific size, hence, it is always important to regulate and/or check these types or rules. This is often due to concerns about allergies, damage to the property, or noise complaints from other guests.
  • Occupancy limits: Short-term rentals typically have maximum occupancy limits to ensure that the property is not overcrowded. These limits may be based on the number of bedrooms, the size of the property, or local regulations. Fines and sanctions can be applicable as well when these rules are not respected.
  • Smoking and use of substances restrictions: Many short-term rentals are smoke or substances free. Many owners do not permit consumption of substances or liquor to protect the image of the property, prevent damages due to smells, stains, or burns, and protect the health and safety of the guests.
  • Parking: Short-term rentals may have specific parking rules, such as limits on the number of vehicles allowed, types of vehicles, sizes, or restrictions on where vehicles can be parked and the hours in which parking can take place or be accessible. There are even parking curfews in case of gated communities.
  • Trash and recycling: Guests are typically expected to dispose of trash and recycling properly. This may involve following specific guidelines, such as sorting trash and recycling into different bins or taking trash to a designated dumpster.
  • Security and Waivers: Guests will always have personal belongings from clothing to electronics and everything in between and therefore are typically expected to keep property secure and comply with all protocols and rules for their own protection. This shall imply lock all doors and windows, setting up alarm systems, safeguarding their keys or passwords when they leave. This is to protect the property, the guests and their belongings from theft and vandalism.
  • Minimum and maximum stay requirements: Many short-term rentals have minimum and maximum stay requirements. For example, a rental may have a two-night minimum stay or a seven-night maximum stay. These requirements are often set to ensure that the property is available for a wide range of guests and to minimize turnover costs for the host.

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