Airbnb and other short-term rentals must now register in Loudoun Co.

WASHINGTON — Loudoun County is joining D.C. area localities that are regulating short-term residential rentals, such as those offered through Airbnb, VRBO and Flipkey.

Homeowners offering the service need to register with the county by July 1.

“Part of what makes the registration useful is that it helps the county get a better understanding of the short-term rental market,” said Loudoun County Project Manager David Street.

“How many people are out there? What type of residence is being rented? Is it an apartment? Is it a condo? Is it a single family home? Is it on 10 acres? Is it on a very small lot?”

Hosts of four guests or more already are subject to the county’s Transient Occupancy Tax, which is 7 percent of the total amount paid for room rental.

That tax currently applies to short-term residential rentals.

“If they meet the current requirements, then yes, we should be collecting taxes from them,” Street said.

Failure to register as a short-term renter can result in a fine of $500.

Registration is just a first phase. Phase 2, which is currently underway, focuses on zoning, land use and public safety issues. An online survey on the issues is expected to begin in the near future.

“Issues that could come up would be total number of occupants you can rent to, the zoning districts that short-term residential rentals would be allowed in and things of that nature,” Street said.

The process to begin regulating short-term rentals is moving forward in neighboring Fairfax County, too.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors plans to hold a public hearing on the issue June 19.

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