Statement: Governor Signs Short-Term Rental Legislation
Friday, March 24, 2017
Governor Signs Short-Term Rental Legislation
New law establishes framework for local governments to regulate Airbnb and other short-term rental platforms
Richmond, Va. – March 24, 2017 – Today Governor Terry McAuliffe signed Senate Bill 1578 into law allowing localities to establish regulations for short-term rentals and create a system that best suits each individual community. Through this legislation, which was championed by Senator Tommy Norment, local governments retain the authority to create and maintain applicable local laws, ordinances and regulations, establish penalties for hosts in violation of local laws and ensure appropriate taxes are collected and remitted. During the 2017 General Assembly session, this legislation passed both the Virginia Senate and House of Delegates with overwhelming bipartisan support.
“We want to thank Governor McAuliffe for supporting this legislation and recognizing the importance of establishing a framework for local governments to welcome short-term rentals, such as those rented through Airbnb, into their communities. Allowing localities to take the lead in working with communities and residents who want to host short-term rentals is a win for the Commonwealth, Virginians and visitors as they know what works best in their community,” said Eric Terry, President of the Virginia Restaurant, Lodging & Travel Association. “As we continue to welcome industry newcomers and growth within the short-term rental market, it is very important that communities, neighborhoods and visitors are protected. This legislation accomplishes that by allowing localities to create a fair and reasonable system for registration and accountability where the industry feels welcome and residents feel safe.
“As the Patron and Chief Co-Patron of this legislation, Senator Norment and Senator Stanley have been strong tourism advocates and understand the important role the lodging industry plays in Virginia.”
“We applaud Governor McAuliffe’s signing of this important legislation into law. This is a victory for Virginia’s lodging, small inns and bed and breakfast establishments, consumers, and communities, which not only sets a precedent on short-term rental policy throughout the state of Virginia, but indeed, across the country,” said Vanessa Sinders, Senior Vice President of Government Affairs for AHLA. “We especially thank the leadership of Eric Terry and the Virginia Restaurant, Lodging & Travel Association as well as so many bed and breakfast owners who shared their stories and worked tirelessly to ensure that all lodging businesses play by the same set of rules and help safeguard neighborhoods from the disruption of unregulated commercial activity. Cities and towns must have a voice to protect the safety and security of their communities and have the ability to deal with the challenges posed by short-term rentals. We encourage legislative bodies across the country to take a close look at this reasonable and comprehensive approach to reining in illegal hotels, protecting all lodging guests, and securing the culture and integrity of local communities.”
About the Virginia Restaurant, Lodging & Travel Association (VRLTA)
The Virginia Restaurant, Lodging & Travel Association is the only unified voice for the restaurant, lodging, travel and hospitality suppliers associations. VRLTA creates value for members by promoting the legislative interests of the industry, networking, educational opportunities, and protecting free enterprise. Inquiries about membership and VRLTA services should be directed to VRLTA at (804) 288-3065 or VRLTA.org.
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Download the full statement.