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Massachusetts Passes Legislation to Regulate Short-Term Rentals

Massachusetts state legislators have passed sweeping regulations for short-term rentals statewide.

The legislation applies a slate of state and local taxes on everything from investor-owned units to people’s couches that they rent out through sites like Airbnb, HomeAway and others.

It also establishes a statewide registry for short-term rentals and requires that units be covered by a $1 million liability insurance policy. The legislation applies the statewide 5.7 percent lodging tax on short-term rentals. Cities and towns can add another 6 percent local tax on the rental units – or 6.5 percent for Boston – and an additional 3 percent if the owners run two or more units in the same municipality. The statewide action comes on the heels of Boston passing a short-term rental ordinance last month providing strong measures to crack down on commercial Airbnb investors.