PORTLAND, Maine — Maine’s largest city on Monday will begin asking people who rent their properties through Airbnb and similar services to register with the city.
The Portland City Council in March approved regulations, including a registry of properties, for short-term rentals. The city will begin accepting registrations on Monday, although the new rules won’t take effect until Jan. 1, 2018.
“Registering helps the city partner with operators to ensure a safe place for renters to stay, and enables the city to monitor and address quality of life impact of [short-term rental] operation across the city” Councilor Jill Duson, the chairperson of the council’s housing committee, said in a statement.
The city will charge a fee to register a short-term rental. The size of these fees will vary depending on whether the property owner lives in the building and how many properties he or she is renting for short periods. A schedule of rental fees is available on the city’s website.
People can register rental properties at the licensing and registration office in City Hall.
City regulations allow for no more than 300 non-owner occupied buildings to be rented for short periods, though this cap excludes properties on the Portland islands. Short-term rentals where the owner lives are not part of this cap.
Registration will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis through Nov. 30 to qualify within the cap, a city spokeswoman said. After 300 properties are registered, the city will open a waiting list.
No one will be able to register more than five rentals through services such as Airbnb, under the city rules.
Registrations for short-term rentals that were opened on the mainland after April 26, the day the council’s vote was formalized in a city ordinance, will only be processed after the Nov. 30 deadline, according to spokeswoman Jessica Grondin.
The city may fine people for operating unregistered short-term rentals once the new regulations take effect.
Airbnb agreed to begin collecting lodging taxes on behalf of Maine hosts starting in April.