New Cambridge law to require registration of short-term rental properties

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A new Short-Term Rental Ordinance No. 1397, which goes in effect in the city of Cambridge on April 1, will regulate the rental of property for transient housing (stays of 30 days or less). 

Cambridge residents who plan to use their residential property for short-term rental must meet new eligibility requirements and register with the city’s Inspectional Services Department by April

Platforms such Airbnb, Home Away and others have made the short-term rental of bedrooms or whole dwelling units a popular option, especially in urban areas where hotel prices can be high. Research shows that Cambridge has hundreds of short-term rental units available.

Under the new law, short-term rentals will be required to comply with building code, life safety regulations and health and hygiene standards. In order to qualify for a short-term rental certificate of registration, the respective dwelling unit or bedroom must be inspected by a city inspector. Additionally, the operator of a short-term rental must live in, or adjacent to the unit, as described in the new ordinance. 

The city’s Inspectional Services hosted two informal drop-in sessions in February where residents could ask questions about the new Ordinance, learn more about eligibility requirements and the process of obtaining a Certificate of Registration and check on the specific conditions of their dwelling unit.

For information: cambridgema.gov/shorttermrental.

Rebecca Rutenberg