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Short-Term Rental Update: Vacasa as the first STR platform to directly connect to Google Hotels; Marriott selects BookingPal as its STR technology partner
("Google Signals Its Vacation Rental Ambitions With Vacasa Direct-Connect," Skift Travel News on Sep 5, 2019)
Big news from our friends at Vacasa in Portland. Vacasa entered into an agreement to directly connect its 14,000 listings (soon to be 20,000+ after the conclusion of its acquisition of Wyndham Vacation Rentals) to Google Hotels. This is the first vacation rental software platform to connect directly to Google with its own application programming interface. Vacasa’s CEO, Eric Breon, expects the company will benefit from first-mover advantage in terms of being the first full-service property management company to tie up with Google.
("Marriott picks BookingPal as exclusive tech partner for home-rental unit," Phocus Wire on Sep 3, 2019)
Marriott International’s Homes & Villas rental division has selected BookingPal as its exclusive technology partner. BookingPal, which has raised $20M in funding, offers an innovative connectivity platform, inventory management portal, reservation and payment engine, central reservation system and customer service portal. This is yet another sign that the hotel industry is taking notice of the innovation and technology-driven approach embraced by the STR industry. 

Other news:

Industry News

Airbnb Agrees to Help the City of Boston Curb Illegal Rentals
The Daily Free Press on Sep 3, 2019
Airbnb reached a settlement with the City of Boston in which the company agreed to assist the city in eliminating illegal short-term rentals. 

Airbnb Starts to Play Nice With Cities
WIRED on Aug 31, 2019
Since 2016, Airbnb has sued more than a half dozen US cities and other government agencies over local ordinances regulating the short-term-rental industry and holding companies liable for ensuring the rentals comply with the law. 

Regulation & Legal Developments

Boston Reaches Settlement With Short-Term Rental Firm Airbnb
CBS Boston on Aug 30, 2019
Boston has agreed to a settlement with the short-term rental firm Airbnb aimed at trying to protect affordable housing in the city. Mayor Marty Walsh said under the deal announced Thursday, Boston will have the power to notify the San Francisco-based company of listings deemed ineligible under the city’s short-term rental ordinance.

Group fears new rules could wipe out 85% of Detroit Airbnbs, home rentals
Detroit Free Press Business on Sep 12, 2019
A Detroit City Council member has proposed replacing Detroit's existing — yet unenforced — ban on some Airbnb home rentals with a new ordinance that opponents say would still wipe out most existing rentals.

Calgary city committee approves new short-term rental rules
Global News Canada - Calgary on Sep 11, 2019
A Calgary committee voted to approve rules recommended by administration regarding short-term rentals on Wednesday. The city is considering a two-tiered license system. One would be for homes with up to four bedrooms and the other would be for places with five or more bedrooms. 

Americans Strongly Support Reforming Federal Law To Rein In Illegal Short-Term Rentals
Lodging Magazine on Sep 11, 2019
According to a new national survey, Americans overwhelmingly support amending federal law to remove loopholes used by short-term rental sites, like Airbnb and HomeAway, to avoid having to comply with local laws enacted by cities and other localities across the country. 

Enforcement

Airbnb Gets New Power to Inform on Rivals When They Are Scofflaws
Skift Travel News on Sep 4, 2019
New Airbnb settlements with Boston and Miami Beach legitimize alternative accommodations in those cities, but also give the homesharing giant new leverage over competitors.

Hawaii owners close rental properties as deadline approaches
SFGate - National News Sep 12, 2019
As a short-term rental application deadline nears, some owners are shutting down their Hawaii rental properties. The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported Wednesday that some owners have found new regulations too expensive or troublesome to continue their rental businesses.

City of Vancouver issues hundreds of violation tickets to short-term rental scofflaws
Richmond News on Sep 5, 2019
The City of Vancouver is touting its enforcement for helping its year-old short-term rental program run effectively. While the city believes that 73 per cent, or 4,266 of the5,866 active short-term rental hosts are abiding by therules, its staff has flagged 27 per cent of all short-term rental addresses for audits to confirm compliance with city regulations that went into effect on Sept. 1, 2018.

Taxation

Newton Passes Ordinance Taxing Short Term Rentals
The Heights on Sep 8, 2019
Owners of short-term rentals will now required to pay a tax to the state and complete a registration process in order to continue their work, according to an ordinance passed by the Newton City Council on Sept. 3. It will go into effect on Oct. 15.

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We regularly update clients about changes in real estate law and on industry trends. This includes briefing clients on legislative proposals in the federal tax, housing and other legal areas affecting their businesses. Staying current enables you to anticipate and prevent legal problems as well as capitalize on new developments.
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