When deciding whether to become an Airbnb host, it is important for you to understand the laws in your county. As a platform and marketplace we do not provide legal advice, but we want to give you some useful links that may help you better understand laws and regulations in Arlington County. 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 Community Planning, Housing and Development or other county agencies directly, or consult a local lawyer or tax professional.
- Zoning Ordinance. The Arlington County Zoning Ordinance regulates uses in Arlington neighborhoods and communities. You should consult the Zoning Ordinance to see if your listing is consistent with any zoning requirements or use definitions. Important terms include bed and breakfast; dwelling; accessory dwelling; dwelling unit; guest; guest house; guest room; hotel; hotel unit; rooming house; and tourist home.
- Building Code. Arlington enforces rules and regulations specifying minimum construction, design, and maintenance standards for buildings, including regulations on habitability, health, and safety. Certain rules and regulations applicable to residential and non-residential uses may be relevant to your listing. Please review the 2012 Virginia State Building Code or contact the Department of Community Planning, Housing & Development directly.
- Short-Term Rental Business Registration and Record-Keeping. Arlington requires all owners or operators of a short-term rental business must register with the County and maintain records relating to the frequency of rentals and guest identification, among other information. Please review Chapter 64 of the Arlington County Code for more information about the registration process and record-keeping requirement.
- Taxes. Arlington County imposes a transient occupancy tax on hotels, inns, vacation homes or houses that offer lodging for 4 or more transients at any one time. A “transient” is defined as a person whom occupies lodging in a hotel for less than 30 days. More information about the transient room tax is available on the Department of Revenue's website, and in the Arlington County Code, Chapter 40.
- Other Rules. It's also important to understand and follow other contracts or rules, 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: January 21, 2015