Airbnb may face more restrictions in Virginia

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Fairfax and other localities may be tightening their rules for Airbnb and other short-term rentals following the passage of legislation by the Virginia General Assembly and signed by Gov. McAuliffe which gives local governments new authority.

The measure defines “short-term rental” as renting a room, apartment or home for less than 30 consecutive days. Exceptions include hotels and established B&Bs. The bill authorizes localities to impose fees and penalties on those who do not register or who offer short-term rentals that have multiple violations of state or federal laws or ordinances, including those related to alcoholic beverage control. The bill expressly preserves existing local zoning authority to regulate short-term rentals, and makes clear that it is not intended to affect any contracts, including any property associations’ (such as home owners associations) agreements or covenants.

Fairfax County already has rules about short-term rentals in place. The Board of Supervisors has directed staff to form a work group, with input from the community, to help update and modernize the county’s ordinances to address short-term rentals. Any changes made by the board will be done through a public process.


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Truman Lewis
A former reporter and bureau chief, Truman Lewis has covered presidential campaigns, state politics and stories ranging from organized crime to environmental and consumer protection.