A draft for new short-term rental regulations was submitted to the Freeport Town Council back in February and enacted earlier this month. Freeport is one of many cities in Maine to consider new Airbnb laws including insurance requirements and detailed operational standards for hosts.
Portland, Bar Harbor, Cape Elizabeth, and Rockport are other cities following suit with new short-term rental regulations.
Advocates for greater regulation contend that short-term rentals take business away from hotels or B&Bs, drive up already high housing costs and can create a nuisance for other residents in quiet neighborhoods.
This is a common concern cities are discussing across the U.S. Freeport is just one to take the step forward with regulations they hope will level the playing field and include equal requirements for short-term rentals that are already present for hotels and local hospitality businesses.
Short-Term Rental Regulations in Freeport, ME
The new ordinance for local short-term rentals include the following requirements and more:
- Hosts must supply an emergency contact who must be available 24 hours a day to respond to complaints regarding the condition, safety, or operation of the dwelling unit as a rental or the conduct of guests.
- Hosts and renters must adhere to the standards of the Freeport Loitering, Curfew, and Noise Ordinance. Violations of the referenced Ordinance shall be punishable by a civil penalty.
- Hosts must provide a certificate of insurance that expressly acknowledges that the property may be used for short-term rental business activity and evidencing (a) property insurance and (be) general liability insurance appropriate to cover the rental use in the aggregate of not less than $1 million. (Hosts may also provide proof that the owner conducts rental transactions through a hosting platform that provides equal or greater coverage. The owner must maintain such insurance coverage for the duration of the annual registration period.)
How can hosts comply with noise restrictions in local short-term rental regulations?
Many cities have begun regulating noise and nuisance from short-term rentals and hold hosts responsible for ‘the conduct guests’. In one way, having a 24-hour contact helps monitor any potential complaints from neighbors, but there are other options to provide security for hosts.
An easy solution many hosts choose is to install a noise monitoring device. Companies such as Minut or NoiseAware offer such devices for short-term rental hosts. With real-time noise monitoring, hosts can rest assured they will be notified before guests get out of hand during their stay.
Is Airbnb’s ‘Guarantee’ and short-term rental insurance the same thing?
Freeport recognizes the importance of short-term rental insurance for hosts in their community. Unfortunately, like many cities across the U.S., they misunderstand the coverage Airbnb may provide to hosts.
Airbnb offers a ‘guarantee’ to its hosts, but it is not an insurance policy for the home and short-term rental business. Airbnb actually states this directly on their website. The moment a host’s Airbnb listing goes live, they have violated their homeowners or landlord insurance contract, as both contracts exclude business activity and leave hosts vulnerable should damage or liability from guests occur. Unfortunately, Airbnb’s ‘guarantee’ is not a sufficient stand-in.
Quote Your Airbnb Today
Interested in a policy to protect you and your business from liability and damage claims? Proper Insurance leads the Nation in short-term rental insurance, with over 50,000 policies written in all 50 states. Backed by Lloyd’s of London and exclusive endorsements from short-term rental leaders such as HomeAway and Vrbo, Proper Insurance is built on world-class insurance coverage that meets and exceeds both city and lender requirements.