If you are renting your home on a short-term basis using a web-based service such as Airbnb, VRBO, or Home Away, it is essential that you understand the legal issues involved with short-term home rentals as the law in this area is rapidly evolving. Based on the recent advent of web-based vacation home rental service providers, many municipalities have not yet acted to specifically regulate these uses. In the absence of such regulations, one Pennsylvania court repeatedly rejected attempts by municipalities to prohibit the use of single-family homes for short-term rentals.
However, on April 26, 2019, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued a significant decision in this area. The Supreme Court held that renting a single-family home in a residential zoning district to vacationers is no longer permitted in many circumstances. The Court decided that the purely transient use of a property is incompatible with the definition of “family” defined as a “single housekeeping unit.” As a result, you may no longer be able to continue the short-term rental of your home through Airbnb, VRBO, and Home Away. If you receive a zoning enforcement notice requiring you to discontinue the short-term rental use of your home, you must act quickly to protect your rights. Further, if you wish to utilize your home for short-term rentals in the wake of the new Supreme Court decision in this area, it is important that you understand your rights. Contact one of our experienced zoning attorneys to help you protect your rights and assist you in navigating this developing legal area.