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Burlington short-term rental hosts face new rules

  • Oct 4, 2022 | Jennifer Sokolowsky

Burlington Vermont

Vacation rental hosts in Burlington, Vermont, are now required to register their properties with the city, among other rules, under a new ordinance passed by the Burlington City Council. Hosts must include their registration number on all advertisements for their rental property.

Under the new law, short-term rental units must be within the host’s primary residence or on the same lot, with a few exceptions. For example, owners of houses or apartment buildings with more than two units can rent one whole unit to a short-term tenant if they rent out another unit in the same building to a long-term tenant at 65% or less of the area median income.

The ordinance defines short-term rentals as units rented to guests:

  • For more than 14 days during any rolling 12-month period
  • For fewer than 30 consecutive days per guest
  • That are subject to the Vermont state meals and rooms tax

Burlington divides short-term rentals into “whole units,” or entire dwelling units, and “partial units,” which are rooms of at least 70 square feet that are located within a host’s primary residence and used primarily for sleeping by guests. Operators are limited to operating only one whole unit, but they may rent additional partial units under certain circumstances.

Vacation rental operators who do not live within Chittenden County must also designate a managing agent who does live in the county.

Hosts who were running a noncompliant short-term rental before the new law went into effect on August 3, 2022, are allowed to continue operating up to May 31, 2023, as long as they registered within 30 days of the effective date; showed that any reservations were made before the effective date; and only operate one noncompliant rental.

Burlington leaders are planning on stepping up enforcement with the help of Granicus, a third-party company the city has hired to monitor vacation rentals and report illegal units to the Department of Permitting and Inspections.

Short-term rentals in Burlington are subject to the state meals and rooms tax and local short-term rental tax. Airbnb collects the state meals and rooms tax and local short-term rental tax on behalf of Burlington hosts. Vrbo collects the state meals and rooms tax for Burlington hosts, but not the local short-term rental tax.

All hosts who do not go through Airbnb for their short-term rental transactions must register with the city for short-term rental taxes, collect the tax from guests, and file monthly short-term rental tax returns.

If a marketplace such as Airbnb or Vrbo collects state taxes on behalf of a short-term rental host, the host is not required to obtain a Vermont tax account. However, hosts must post the tax account number used by the marketplace on any online advertisements for the rental.  Hosts are responsible for collecting and paying any lodging taxes that are not collected for them.

MyLodgeTax can help short-term rental hosts automate lodging tax to streamline and simplify their lodging tax compliance. For more on lodging taxes in Vermont, see our state Lodging Tax Guide. If you have tax questions related to vacation rental properties, drop us a line and we’ll get back to you with answers.

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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