§ 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 that list property in Rhode Island on their website for rent and that 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 or that 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.