Expanded 'Stay At Home' Order Bans Short-Term Rentals Through May 4
March 31, 2020 Legal Updates, Government & Community Affairs, COVID-19
The Department of Public Health issued guidance for short-term rentals, restricting the rental of properties for 31-days or less to COVID-19 support until May 4 (detailed below). The guidance expressly prohibits rentals of 31-days or less for leisure and vacation uses during that period, however, persons occupying short-term rentals as of March 31 may remain until the end of their originally scheduled term. Extensions are not permitted. The guidance does not impact leases longer than 31-days or stays after May 4, but be aware that this date can be extended.
If you have a lease in place for a short-term rental (31-days or less) beginning between March 31 and May 4, you may not provide occupancy. Follow the terms of your lease and consult with your attorney as needed to best address this issue with your clients. If using the MAR short-term rental lease, you will need to refund prorated rent until you are able to deliver occupancy. If you used a hosting platform for a rental during this period, review their service terms as many have issued their own guidance on how they will assist clients for bookings impacted by the pandemic.
The guidance permits the lease of short-term rentals for only the following uses:
- Housing for health care workers, first responders and essential COVID-19 essential workers.
- Housing for out-of-state workers engaged in transportation of materials, logistics, and construction associated with the delivery of health-related services, such as development of COVID-19 alternative care sites.
- Housing for vulnerable populations.
- Housing for Massachusetts residents who are self-isolating or self-quarantining or the families or roommates of individuals who are self-isolating or self-quarantining for only as long as necessary to complete the period of self-isolation or self-quarantine.
- Housing for individuals receiving long-term, specialized medical care from a physician located in Massachusetts and for accompanying family members.
- Housing when required by extenuating circumstances such as fire or casualty to ensure the care and safety of Massachusetts residents and to accommodate other persons unable to return to their own homes due to flight cancellations, border closures, or other direct and material constraints on travel.