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2017 SESSION

17100686D
SENATE BILL NO. 1579
Offered January 20, 2017
A BILL to amend the Code of Virginia by adding in Article 5 of Chapter 9 of Title 15.2 a section numbered 15.2-983, relating to the short-term rental of property.
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Patron-- Stanley
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Referred to Committee on Local Government
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Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1. That the Code of Virginia is amended by adding in Article 5 of Chapter 9 of Title 15.2 a section numbered 15.2-983 as follows:

15.2-983. Regulation of the short-term rental of property.

A. As used in this section:

"Applicable taxes" means any state or local tax imposed on a transaction involving a short-term rental pursuant to 15.2-1104, Chapter 6 ( 58.1-600 et seq.) of Title 58.1, 58.1-1742, Article 6 ( 58.1-3819 et seq.) of Chapter 38 of Title 58.1, 58.1-3840, or any other transaction tax imposed by a city or town charter.

"Hosting platform" means any person or entity that is not an operator and that facilitates reservations or collects payments for any transaction involving a short-term rental on behalf of an operator through an online digital platform.

"Operator" means the proprietor of any dwelling, lodging, or sleeping accommodations offered as a short-term rental, whether in the capacity of owner, lessee, sublessee, mortgagee in possession, licensee, or any other possessory capacity.

"Residential dwelling unit" means a residence where one or more persons may maintain a household, including a manufactured home. "Residential dwelling unit" does not include:

1. Residence at a public or private institution, if incidental to detention or the provisions of medical, geriatric, educational, counseling, religious, or similar services;

2. Occupancy by a member of a fraternal or social organization in the portion of a structure operated for the benefit of the organization;

3. Occupancy in a hotel, motel, extended stay facility, boardinghouse, bed and breakfast establishment, or similar lodging;

4. Occupancy under a rental agreement covering premises used by the occupancy primarily in connection with business, commercial, or agricultural purposes; or

5. Occupancy in a campground as defined in 35.1-1.

"Short-term rental" means the provision of a room or space that is suitable or intended for occupancy for dwelling, sleeping, or lodging purposes, for a period of fewer than 30 consecutive days, in exchange for a charge for occupancy.

B. Any locality may regulate, by ordinance, the short-term rental of property.

C. If the short-term rental of residential dwelling units, or space within a residential dwelling unit, is authorized by a locality, the locality shall require:

1. That the operator provide written notice to all landowners with property adjacent to the residential dwelling unit of the intent to offer the residential dwelling unit for short-term rental;

2. That the operator request and obtain permission of the locality to offer a residential dwelling unit for short-term rental. Permission of the locality shall be granted only upon agreement of the operator to pay all applicable taxes related to the short-term rental transaction; and

3. That the operator offering a residential dwelling unit for short-term rental maintain a minimum of $500,000 in commercial premises liability insurance that covers all renters, third parties, and, for purposes of any damage that might be caused by a renter, persons and property immediately adjacent to the residential dwelling unit.

D. If a hosting platform facilitates the short-term rental of residential dwelling units in the locality, or collects payments for such transactions, such hosting platform shall comply with all applicable laws of the Commonwealth related to real estate brokers and the offering of property for rent in the Commonwealth.

E. If a locality prohibits the short-term rental of residential dwelling units, any person or entity, including a hosting platform, that advertises or promotes such a rental in the locality shall be subject to a $10,000 fine for each violation, payable to the locality.