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If You Are Listing Your Place on Airbnb, You Better Register Now–It’s the LAW

City of Alexandria Launches Short-Term Residential Rental Registry for Home Sharing Operators

On January 1, the City of Alexandria launched a mandatory online registry for short-term rental properties, which are commonly advertised on platforms such as Airbnb, craigslist, Expedia, FlipKey, HomeAway, TripAdvisor, and VRBO. Short-term residential rental, or “home sharing,” refers to the rental of houses, condos or apartments to guests staying for 30 days or less.

A 2017 state law authorized localities to create registries for this relatively new type of business. In November 2017, City Council approved the creation of an Alexandria registry.  Registration by short-term rental property owners is required by law, and there is a penalty for failing to register. The new online form is intended to make the registration process quick and convenient for rental property operators, and there is no fee to register. Visit the Short Term Residential Rental Registry page for more information, or to sign up.

This registry creates no new taxes, but the City reminds operators that they continue to be responsible for collecting and remitting any applicable taxes related to renting their homes.  Home sharing is generally subject to the same taxation as hotels and other similar businesses, such as the Transient Lodging Tax. Nationwide, many localities are working to ensure that all taxes are assessed and collected fairly. This involves identifying properties involved in home sharing and collecting taxes due.

Short-term rental properties continue to be subject to the following taxes:

  • Regional and local Transient Lodging Taxes of 8.5% plus $1 per room per night must be collected from the renter and remitted by the operator to the City of Alexandria’s Department of Finance.
  • State and local Sales Taxes totaling 6% must be collected from the renter and remitted by the operator to the Virginia Department of Taxation.
  • The operator must obtain a Business, Professional and Occupational License (BPOL) only if 1) their gross revenue is greater than $10,000 annually, and 2) they rent more than four separate dwelling units (each having cooking facilities).

Short-term rental properties do not require special zoning or permitting approvals for that purpose, but any normal zoning or permitting provisions (e.g., maximum occupancy, construction permits) would still apply.

For more information, visit the Short Term Residential Rental Registry page, or contact the Finance Department’s Revenue Division at [email protected] or 703.746.3903.

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One Comment

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