General Assembly overrides veto of bill to register all

 

short-term rentals offered by third-party hosting

 

platforms

 

STATE HOUSE – The General Assembly today voted to override the governor’s veto of legislation sponsored by Rep. Lauren H. Carson and Sen. Dawn Euer to require every short-term rental property listed for rent on the website of any third-party hosting platform that conducts business in Rhode Island to be registered with the Department of Business Regulation.

The legislation (2021-H 5505A, 2021-S 0501B), which originally passed the General Assembly July 1, will create a statewide registry of basic information about each property to ensure compliance with safety and tax regulations, with owners’ contact information in case of an emergency. The bill now becomes law.

“Short-term rentals have become a thriving industry. In places like our districts in Newport, investors have been buying up housing to rent in this way, and the state is not tracking where these businesses are operating. It’s impossible to ensure safety or compliance with laws when we don’t even know where the rentals are. Rhode Island needs to keep up with the evolving rental industry and adopt a statewide registry,” said Senator Euer (D-Dist. 13, Newport, Jamestown).

The sponsors have been working for several years on efforts to address identification and taxation of third-party hosting platforms, which have created new challenges in public safety, housing availability and equity issues pertaining to the hospitality industry.

“Absent much-needed state action, the communities on Aquidneck Island — where short-term rentals are widespread in neighborhoods -- have been paying a vendor to operate a local registry so they can track down property owners when there are issues,” said Representative Carson (D-Dist. 75, Newport).  “In a state as small as Rhode Island, it doesn’t make any sense to leave this job to our overburdened municipalities. It would be simpler and less expensive to have single statewide registry, and it would allow uniformity. This is an issue for every community, because anyone anywhere can list a room for rent. A statewide registry isn’t a heavy lift for anyone, and it would give the state and the municipalities the information they need to keep everyone safe and sound.”

The anonymity fostered by the third-party platforms and a frequent lack of on-site management reduces the sense of responsibility between renters and property owners, and sometimes results in renters using properties for out-of-control gatherings, the sponsors said.  A  University of Rhode Island student was murdered on Memorial Day weekend at a party held at a short-term rental on Thames Street in Newport.

 

 

Ninety-three-percent of coronavirus cases in the U.S. are linked to the Delta variant. That's according to the latest numbers from the CDC which looked at the last two weeks of July. However, the Delta strain accounts for 98-percent of the infections when looking at the region where states like Iowa and Kansas are located.       A new report shows fewer jobs were added in the U.S. than expected. Payroll processing firm ADP says 330-thousand positions were added last month, which is much fewer than the 650-thousand jobs analysts were expecting. The ADP figures come ahead of the jobs report that'll be released by the federal government on Friday.       Attorneys for former President Trump are attempting to block the release of Trump's tax records to a U.S. House committee. A motion was filed with a federal court after the Justice Department gave the go-ahead for the Treasury Department to release the documents. Trump's lawyers claim there isn't a legitimate reason for Congress to access them.       A majority of New Yorkers want Governor Andrew Cuomo to resign. That's according to the results of a Marist survey which shows 59-percent of New Yorkers feel that way. Meantime, the poll results also say 32-percent think the governor should serve out the rest of his term.       There's a new service that will help out folks in trouble. Citizen, an app that notifies users about crimes and emergencies in their area, is rolling out a new service that will call 911 for those who need help. It will set users back about 20-dollars.       Guests at the upcoming Met Gala in New York must show proof they're fully vaccinated against COVID and wear masks. This follows news that all New York Fashion Week shows next month will require COVID shots too. The gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, called "America: A Lexicon of Fashion," will be held on September 13th.