Short Term Rental Regulations

Short-Term Rental Regulations Finalized: What You Need to Know

The Department of Revenue (DOR) just released the final version of its Short-Term Rental Regulations.

Read the full regulations here


Here’s what you need to know:


  1. Realtors® can provide mandated insurance - This means that Realtors® who provide services online, (or via phone application or similar electronic processes) that allow short-term rental operators to list their property and collect rent, and a allow a person to make a reservation, will be able to provide the operator the $1 million in liability insurance required by statute.

    Previously: Under the old version of the regulations, only online service providers such as AirBnB, Expedia, HomeAway, or VRBO could provide this insurance.

  2. Removal of the Mid-Stay Rate Change Requirement - New or amended tax rates will take effect only for subsequent transfers of occupancy. For example, if a town adopts a new tax effective July 6, occupants who have rented the property from July 3 to July 10 would not have to pay the new rate even though it will change during their occupancy. However, the occupant whose stay begins on July 10 (and all subsequent occupants) will need to pay the new rate.

    Previously: The original regulations required short-term rentals to adjust the tax rate in the middle of an occupancy when municipalities would adopt or amend local taxes.

Additional Changes:

14-Day Exemption is Clarified

  • A property is exempt from the short-term rental tax if it is rented for 14-days or less per calendar year, the operator registers with DOR, and files a declaration stating that they intend to rent their property for 14-days or less.

  • An operator with multiple properties can qualify for an exemption at each of them.

 Tax Itemization Clarified

  • DOR clarified that taxes must be itemized as laid out in Section 11(f) of the regulations, not as shown in examples following Section 5.Note: MAR requested this clarification in its comments.

  • MAR recommends using its uniform short-term rental lease to assure compliance with the law and regulations.

Expands Accepted Forms of Identification for Tax Returns

  • While Realtors® are still required to assure that operators with whom they contracted are registered with DOR, they can submit returns using the operator’s certificate number, federal Employer Identification Number (EIN), Social Security Number (SSN), or other identifying information approved by DOR.

Notification Requirement Clarified

  • The new regulations specify that this Realtors® must notify operators within 30 days of filing a return.

  • This notification must include an itemization of the date of each occupancy, the rent imposed on each occupancy, including any booking fees charged, as well as amounts of all state and local excises and any applicable local fees collected and remitted to the Commissioner on behalf of the operator.

Requires Accounting Consistency

  • The final regulations contain new language requiring reasonable and consistent accounting methods as well as adjustments for any filed returns that use different methods in order to prevent double-counting or omissions.


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    All about the New Massachusetts Short Term Rental Law

    The new Massachusetts short term rentals law applies to property rentals of less than 31 days. It includes an occupancy tax, statewide registry, insurance requirements, and inspections. Any property rented out for less than 14 days in one year is exempt.

    Here are 2 great resources for information about the new law:




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      Live in the home you own in Boston? Reduce your property taxes, file for the Residential Exemption

      If you own and live in your Boston property as a primary residence, you may qualify for the residential exemption. The residential exemption reduces your tax bill by excluding a portion of your residential property’s value from taxation. This year, the residential exemption saves qualified Boston homeowners up to $2,538.47 on their tax bill.

      Your exemption amount is applied to your third-quarter tax bill that is issued in late December. If you didn’t get the credit on your bill and think you should have, you can apply for a residential exemption.

      For Fiscal Year 2018, you have until April 2, 2018, to file an application.

      You need to have owned and lived in your home as your primary residence on January 1 before the current fiscal year. For example, to be eligible for Fiscal Year 2018 (July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018), you need to have owned and occupied your property as your primary residence on January 1, 2017.


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        Refer Madness 2016 Winner Announced

        The Surrealtors are happy to announce that Colette Sanborn is the winner of the 2016 Surrealtors Refer Madness Sweepstakes! We are awarding Colette a trip for 2 to Maui, Jamaica, Amsterdam... or the destination of her choice (maximum value $2,500.00), for referring her cousin, the delightful Joanna Sanborn.

         YOU Could Be Our Next Refer Madness Winner

        Here's how it works. Many of you have told us over the years how much you appreciate the experience of buying or selling real estate with us. One way we know that you felt well taken care of is that you've trusted us to help your friends, neighbors and family to buy and sell their homes. Our businesses have been built on your referrals. We want you to know that we truly appreciate it.

        From now until our next Refer Madness drawing on July 21, 2018, every time we close on a property with a buyer or seller you have referred to us, we will enter your name into our drawing for a trip for 2 to the destination of your choice (maximum value $2,500.00). So, tell your friends, your relatives, your boss, your colleagues, your babysitter, your therapist, the guy (or gal) at the gas station, your school principal... anyone you know who is thinking of buying or selling a home, to call us. We promise to take really good care of them. And when they close on their property, we'll enter you into our next Refer Madness drawing.




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          Try out the Surrealtors new mobile app

          Want to search for homes wherever you are? Download our powerful new mobile app.

          You can see homes for sale right where you are, or search by location. Sort by price, filter by number of bedrooms and more, let your friends know about it by social media or email. And of course, contact Trisha directly so she can help you take the next step. 


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            For Those of Us of a Certain Age

            I have worked with many people through big life changes--buying a first home, selling that one and buying the next, sometimes numerous big moves.

            Lately I've been getting a lot of calls to talk about the next phases of life. And I've been thinking about it myself.

            • How will I live my later years? Where do I want to end up? How many more times will I move?
            • Can I stay in this house for the rest of my life? Will I need to be on one floor? Will I need to downsize?
            • How much is my house worth now? How much money will I have going into the future? How much money will I need?
            • Will I be doing it alone? Where is my community now and where will it be in 10, 20, 30 years? Will I have housemates in my later years the way I did when I was younger?
            • How do I plan to retire someplace warmer, even part time?
            • How are other people going about this?

            I'm planning to get some people together to dream up our next stages.  We can brainstorm, share stories, ideas, and plans, maybe find like-minded people. I could invite some tax, financial and legal professionals.

            Is this something that interests you? Are there other topics you would like covered?

            Call or email me if you want to be part of this conversation.

            Best wishes,



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                Oh Jessica, This is a beautiful turtibe to Ricky I know how proud he must be of you and the woman you have become.Thank you for doing such a beautiful job sharing these precious memories.Luv you BIG!!!

                Short Sale in 2014? No "Debt Forgiveness" Tax Worries

                In  general, tax law identifies the difference between what a borrower owes and what a borrower actually pays to the bank in a foreclosure or short sale as taxable income. This can be a nightmare for already cash-strapped sellers. There is good news, though.

                As a result of recently passed legislation, sellers won't pay tax on any mortgage debt forgiven or cancelled by a lender in a short sale, foreclosure or loan modification in 2014.





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