When deciding whether to become an Airbnb host, it's important for you to understand the laws in your city. As a platform and marketplace we do not provide legal advice, but we want to provide some useful links that may help you better understand laws and regulations in the District of Columbia. This list is not exhaustive, but it should give you a good start in understanding your local laws. If you have questions, contact the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs or other city agencies directly, or consult a local lawyer or tax professional.
- Zoning Laws. The DC Zoning Code contains definitions that may be relevant to your listing, including but not limited to “accommodations, transient,” “boarding house,” “hotel,” “inn” and “motel.” These types of uses are permitted only in certain parts of the city.
- Transient Use Licenses. The DCRA provides this information page about the process for obtaining transient housing licenses. To obtain the proper transient housing license, you may first have to apply for a basic business license.
- Taxes. The District of Columbia applies two taxes totaling 14.5% that apply to various transient accommodations. More information is available in the DC Code, Sections 47-2002 and 47-2002.02. Airbnb collects and remits these taxes in the District of Columbia; more information about that process is available here.
- Other Rules. It's also important to understand and abide by other contracts or rules that bind you, such as leases, condo board or co-op rules, HOA rules, or rules established by tenant organizations. Please read your lease agreement and check with your landlord if applicable.
We are committed to working with local officials to help them understand how Airbnb benefits our community. Where needed, we will continue to advocate for changes that will allow regular people to rent out their own homes.
Last updated: July 22, 2015