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Short-term rentals resume in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania

  • Jun 10, 2020 | Jennifer Sokolowsky

Boston, Massachusetts

Massachusetts short-term rentals can reopen for business as of June 8, as the state moves to the second phase of its reopening plan following the restrictions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Governor Charlie Baker made the announcement June 6.

Baker issued an order prohibiting the use of short-term rentals for leisure or vacation and reserving them for essential purposes on March 31.

Vacation rental operators are required to follow sanitation protocol standards. Among other new rules, hosts must:

  • Inform guests at both reservation and check-in that the state government urges travelers to self-quarantine for 14 days when coming to Massachusetts from out of state
  • Clean and sanitize all hard surfaces and launder all linens, bedspreads, and covers each time a guest checks out and before the next guest arrives
  • Consider leaving guest spaces vacant for 24 hours between cleaning and the next guest’s arrival
  • Keep cleaning logs that include date, time, and scope of cleaning

Connecticut vacation rentals back in business June 17

Short-term rentals in Connecticut will be allowed to accept guests with reservations starting June 17 as part of the second phase of the state’s reopening.

Governor Ned Lamont issued an executive order April 3 prohibiting vacation rentals from renting to guests for leisure or vacation.

Under reopening rules, short-term rental businesses are required to develop cleaning plans and checklists. Operators are also responsible for training employees or subcontractors on cleaning protocols and safety.

Sanitation rules require lodging businesses, including short-term rentals, to:

  • Provide personal protection equipment to employees
  • Wash linens and uniforms with detergents, dry thoroughly, and store in closed cabinets
  • Launder bed scarves/duvets/curtains frequently
  • Use only disposable cleaning equipment where possible and periodically discard of any cleaning equipment made of cloth/absorbent materials, such as mop heads and wiping cloths
  • Remove nonessential amenities such as writing pads, pens, pamphlets, and ornaments; irons, ironing boards, and hair dryers are allowed as long as they are thoroughly cleaned
  • Maximize ventilation
  • Allow guest spaces to passively decontaminate for 24 hours after guests have checked out (recommended)
  • Keep a log of employees and guests who have entered the rental

Short-term rentals in Pennsylvania allowed to reopen

All counties in Pennsylvania have moved to the “yellow phase” of the state’s reopening plan, allowing short-term rentals to resume operations. Businesses must observe social distancing and sanitation guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and state Department of Health and limit gatherings to fewer than 25 people.

On March 30, Governor Tom Wolf shut down short-term rentals amid concerns that some short-term rental hosts were marketing Pennsylvania properties as an escape from COVID-19. Hotels and motels were allowed to remain open.

Lodging tax rates, rules, and regulations change frequently. Although we hope you'll find this information helpful, this blog is for informational purposes only and does not provide legal or tax advice.
Avalara Author
Jennifer Sokolowsky
Avalara Author Jennifer Sokolowsky
Jennifer Sokolowsky writes about tax, legal, and tech topics. She has an extensive international background in journalism and marketing, including work with The Seattle Times, The Prague Post, Avvo, and Marriott.

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