When Decisions Matter.


“This Would Make a Great AirBNB®”:The Intersection of Short-Term Rentals and Municipal Codes

Very few topics (other than politics) are presently as divisive as the use of short-term rentals (“STR”).  For those of you unfamiliar, a STR is a property that is rented out to a non-owner for a term typically less than a month.   Viewed as vacation alternatives to hotels, motels, and other more traditional short-term occupancy locations, STRs came to prevalence around 2010.

As STRs grew in popularity, residents of communities began to voice opposition to the STR visitors who were viewed as transients coming into local communities for no other purpose than to party, imbibe in a “home away from home,” and avoid restrictions often imposed at hotels.  These complaints led to several municipalities throughout the United States imposing restrictions on STRs, from limiting the number of days per year a property can be rented, to outright bans – often at the encouragement of the local hotel and hospitality industry.

To date, Pennsylvania does not have any state statute prohibiting, limiting, or permitting them. However, local municipalities have started to address STRs via municipal zoning ordinances.  Keep in mind, in York and Adams Counties alone there are 106 different boroughs and townships, including one (1) city, with almost all of them having their own zoning ordinance.  In other words, that means theoretically there could be over 100 different ways STRs may be regulated in just 2 of the Commonwealth’s 67 counties.  Even more frustrating (especially for those from south of the Mason-Dixon Line), Pennsylvania counties are not typically involved in regulating land use, which decisions are left to the local municipal government.

If you have zoning-related questions, seek professional, legal counsel familiar with navigating the various and often intersecting local, state, and federal laws, ordinances, and regulations. Contact a Stock and Leader attorney in the Real Estate Group.

Subscribe to our Newsletters

Get the latest news and information from the trusted professionals at Stock and Leader delivered straight to your inbox. Select areas of interest below.

Select your area of interest:
  • Select your role:
  • Select your role:
  • Select your role:
  • Select your role:

©2024 Stock and Leader, Attorneys-at-Law.
All Rights Reserved.

Stock and Leader strives to maintain an accessible website compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.