Air BnBs + Short-Term Rentals

Presentation from October 7th on Proposed Regulations:

Short-Term Rental presentation

-> Are you a Brookline short-term rental host? If so, please participate in our survey to collect information on short-term rental hosting that will help inform policy changes regarding this topic. <--

Are short-term rentals currently allowed in Brookline?

Currently, short-term rentals (defined as a property that is rented for less than 30 consecutive days) are NOT permitted. Unless a legally permitted lodging house or hotel, short-term rentals are not listed as a permitted use in Brookline’s Zoning By-Law and are therefore excluded in all zoning districts.Hull Decision 

What is Brookline doing to regulate short-term rentals?

Brookline is preparing a warrant article to submit for the Spring 2020 Town Meeting. In preparation for submitting this warrant article, Town staff are working to set up public meetings and additional outreach opportunities to share information about Short-Term Rentals and the future process. Please check back on this page for updates about future meetings that will take place in early Fall 2019. 

The Town has reviewed precedents recently passed by other communities such as the City of Boston and the the City of Cambridge for reference.  

What is the state doing to regulate short-term rentals?

Recent action at the state level has led to Brookline's interest in implementing regulations for Short-Term Rentals. On December 28, 2018, the state legislature approved 2018 Mass. Acts Ch. 337 "An Act Regulating and Insuring Short-Term Rentals". 

This Act will do the following: create a state registry of short-term rental operators, amend the local option room tax to allow municipalities to collect 6% tax on all STRs, create a local option for an additional 3% community impact fee on certain types of STRs, and establish safety and insurance requirements.

The Act enables cities and towns to enact their own local regulations, registration/licensing requirements and health and safety inspections. 

A list of FAQs on the state regulations can be found here.

I would like to file a complaint against a neighbor who is using their home as an AirBnB. What can I do? 

Currently, the Building Department handles all complaints on a case by case basis and serves as enforcement against any violations of the Town’s Zoning By-Law. You can reach the Building Department at (617) 730-2100. Additionally, if you live in a condominium, review your condominium documents – some condo associations have restrictions on short-term rentals as well and can address complaints directly with owners.

Will I be able to rent my house or condominium in Brookline as a short-term rental in the future?

If Town Meeting approves zoning changes, STRs may be legalized in specific circumstances. However, condo associations or landlords are permitted to expressly prohibit owners/tenants from short-term rentals in their condo rules and/or leases. These restrictions will not be superseded by any Town Meeting actions. 

How can I stay informed?

If you have a specific question about the proposed STR warrant articles and amendments, please contact Karen Martin at kmartin@brooklinema.gov. You can also attend various upcoming meetings that will discuss these proposed amendments. Meeting dates will be posted on this page as well as on the Town calendar. 

 LAST UPDATED 10.10.19