All About the DC Air BnB Legislation

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Capital Properties DC AB15253

The Short-Term Rental Regulation and Affordable Housing Protection Act regulates short-term rentals, such as Airbnb rentals, in the following ways:

  • Investment properties are ineligible for short-term rental (this keeps them open for long-term tenants, addressing DC’s affordable housing crisis).
  • Primary residences are eligible for short-term rental under the following conditions:
    • Residents renting out a room of the house they currently live in may do so for 365 days out of the year.
    • Owners renting out their entire home may only do so for 90 days in any calendar year, unless they’re granted an exemption.

These parameters strike a balance between serving short-term visitors and tourists and fulfilling the housing needs of DC residents. Because investors are prohibited from using their properties as short-term rentals, it increases the likelihood that investors’ rentals will go to permanent DC residents. The DC Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) monitors and investigates short-term rentals to ensure compliance with this law, as well as compliance in areas such as zoning regulations, building codes, health codes, and housing codes. In addition, DCRA keeps records and statistics on licensed short-term rental activity.


Savvy investors in DC know that most condo and coop buildings already have restrictions in place requiring that leases run for a minimum number of months, typically at least six months, in order to control the short term rentals with companies such as Air BnB.  Now fee simple owners are finding themselves subject to similar restrictions.  


If you have any additional questions concerning renting your home on a short term basis, please call the Lise Howe Group at 240-401-5577 or email us at  The Lise Howe Group is licensed in DC, Maryland and Virginia. 


Comments (16)

Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Good Friday morning, Lise.

Have a great day and an outstanding weekend.

Jul 09, 2021 04:58 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Lise. Interesting legislation. Not sure I agree or disagree. Something to ponder. Enjoy your day.

Jul 09, 2021 05:03 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Lise - the always changing world and our role in it makes us face various options.  Whether it is the right and choice of the individual or a larger concern, the subject is fraught with unintended consequences. Many communities are facing and addressing this issue and so many others related to it.  We shall see, right?  

Jul 09, 2021 05:15 AM
Brian England
Vacasa - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

I am sure that people are not happy with restrictions that don't allow them to use their investment property in the most lucrative way.

Jul 09, 2021 05:20 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

An important topic, Lise... we keep seeing more and more restrictions on these kinds of properties in my area, especially in HOA communities.

Jul 09, 2021 05:55 AM
Raymond Henson, eXp Realty
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

It is certainly good to know about these regulations prior to making an investment.  Thank you for sharing it.

Jul 09, 2021 06:14 AM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


When people abuse their rights to rent their homes, the city and other regulatory entities step in and take over.  They also see an opportunity to fill their coffers.  Here in Santa Barbara that happened.  Rentals were going for $10,000 plus a week for premium homes.  The beach front were even more.  Neighbors complained of noise...and the City said, where's my tax money?  LOL A

Jul 09, 2021 06:52 AM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good morning Lise - thanks for the information on this.  I actually had to look up Air BnB since I didn't know what it was.

Jul 09, 2021 07:09 AM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Lise, around Denver, government is trying very hard to keep applying more restrictions to homeowners for short term rentals.

Jul 09, 2021 07:33 AM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello Lise,  Interesting about short term rentals in your area.  I know of some places that are happy with them, I am not sure.


Jul 09, 2021 08:17 AM
Ed Silva
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

I too agree that this is not the best for investors looking to use their properties as short term rental space

Jul 09, 2021 09:24 AM
James Dray
Fathom Realty - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

Morning Lise.

Just another example of government overreach.  Besides, I would not make a good landlord. 

Jul 10, 2021 12:23 AM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Lise Howe - only time will tell if this legislatiure implemented a good balance or not. Our world is in such a flux it really all depends. Thanks for sharing a very timely topic and what's going in in your area. 

Jul 19, 2021 03:17 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

No doubt this impacts many. Can it realistically be monitored?

Jul 22, 2021 08:26 AM
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Good Tuesday morning, Lise.

Take care, be safe and have a great day.

Jul 27, 2021 05:26 AM
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

Wonderful PSI, Lise! We have Airbnb clients and for the longest time, we have had firm restrictions in HOA-run communities here in the Charlotte Metro area. However, we search for the homes that are not in a subdivision (like lake homes) or in an historic subdivision that allows this usage.


Thankfully, the city hasn't come down on the non-HOA areas. It's a wonderful service that allows an affordable stay for traveling families. Dining out can be cost-prohibitive for vacationing families so, the Airbnbs and VRBOs of the world address this issue for many.

Aug 16, 2021 06:56 AM