Residential Rentals

Residential Rentals Summary

The purpose of this paper is to (1) provide an overview of the residential rental housing market; (2) explain the problem of rental housing restrictions; (3) categorize and describe the different approaches taken by local governments to regulate residential rental housing, including short-term rentals, in their communities; (4) analyze the issues raised by these different regulatory approaches; (5) provide REALTORS® with strategies for addressing these issues; and (6) outline “best practices” approaches to rental housing regulations that REALTORS® can use in discussing the issue with local government officials.

This whitepaper addresses the regulation of both long-term and short-term rental housing. The term “short-term rental housing” typically means a dwelling unit that is rented for a period of less than thirty (30) consecutive days. However, as discussed in Section 2.4, the term can also mean the short-term rental (generally for a period of less than 30 consecutive days) of less than an entire dwelling unit, such as a spare bedroom or other space within a home. In some communities, short-term rental housing may be referred to as vacation rentals, transient rentals or transient vacation rental units.


Questions? Contact Adriann Murawski at 202-83-1068.


The opinions expressed in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the opinions or policy of the National
Association of REALTORS®, its members or affiliate organizations. 

Residential Rentals White Paper