State Affairs and Government
Tourism and Development
R.I. Gen. Laws § 42-63.1-14
Offering residential units through a hosting platform.
(a) For any rental property offered for tourist or transient use on a hosting platform
that collects and remits applicable sales and hotel taxes in compliance with § 44-18-7.3(b)(4)(i), §§ 44-18-18, and 44-18-36.1, cities, towns or municipalities shall not prohibit the owner from offering the unit
for tourist or transient use through such hosting platform, or prohibit such hosting
platform from providing a person or entity the means to rent, pay for or otherwise
reserve a residential unit for tourist or transient use. A hosting platform shall
comply with the requirement imposed upon room resellers in § 44-18-7.3(b)(4)(i) and § 44-18-36.1 in order for the prohibition of this section to apply. The division of taxation shall
at the request of a city, town, or municipality confirm whether a hosting platform
is registered in compliance with § 44-18-7.3(b)(4)(i).
(b) Any short-term rental property listed for rent on the website of any third-party hosting platform that conducts business in Rhode Island shall be registered with the department of business regulation. The registration shall provide the information necessary to identify the property pursuant to subsection (d) of this section. For purposes of this section, the term "short-term rental" means a person, firm, or corporation's utilization, for transient lodging accommodations, not to exceed thirty (30) nights at a time.
(c) The department of business regulation shall contact all hosting platforms who list
property in Rhode Island on their website for rent and who submit hotel taxes to the
division of taxation and shall provide notice of the registration requirement, pursuant
to this section, instructing the hosting platforms to notify their listed properties
to register with the department of business regulation by December 31, 2021 or be
subject to fines pursuant to § 42-63.1-14.1.
(d) The state registration pursuant to this section shall include:
(1) The principal place of business of the owner, or if outside the state, the agent for
service of process or property manager for the owner;
(2) The phone number of the owner of the property and/or property manager;
(3) The email address of the property owner and/or property manager;
(4) The address of the rental property;
(5) The number of rooms for rent at the property;
(6) Whether the registrant rents or owns; and
(7) Intended use (entire space, private room or shared space).
(e) The assigned registration number shall consist of numeric and alpha characters, the
alpha characters shall correspond to the city/town where the property is located and
shall be uniform for the remaining properties in said city/town.
(f) The department of business regulation shall notify all hosting platforms to contact
all listed properties by December 31, 2021, to ensure compliance with this section
and if the listed properties are not duly registered after six (6) months, the hosting
platform shall remove the property listing from its website.
(g) The department of business regulation shall promulgate rules and regulations to correspond
with and enforce this section and § 42-63.1-14.1 and may charge a registration fee to property owners registering with the department
pursuant to this section.
(h) The department of business regulation shall create an online database to store all
registered short-term rental units, and each unit shall have an online identification
number in said database to correspond with subsection (e) of this section.
(i) Any owner of the property who fails to register with the department of business regulation
as prescribed herein and lists the property as a short-term rental on a hosting platform
website shall be subject to a civil fine as follows:
(1) Two hundred fifty dollars ($250) for the first thirty (30) days of non-compliance;
(2) Five hundred dollars ($500) for between thirty-one (31) and sixty (60) days of non-compliance; and
(3) One thousand dollars ($1,000) for more than sixty (60) days of non-compliance.
History of Section.
P.L. 2015, ch. 141, art. 11, § 3; P.L. 2021, ch. 425, § 1; P.L. 2021, ch. 429, § 1.