PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation (DBR) unveiled its new short-term rental registry earlier this week.
The short-term rental registry officially launched Monday. It’s the product of a state law passed last year that requires those who offer their homes as short-term rentals to register with the DBR before listing their property.
The goal of the registry is to make the process easier and safer for renters.
Those who register must pay a $50 fee and include specific information regarding their property, such as the address and the number of rooms.
The application also requests registrants list the intended use of the space and other pertinent information renters should know about the property.
The registry has already received a few dozen applications since its launch, according to DBR interim director Elizabeth Dwyer.
Dwyer expects there to eventually be thousands of short-term rentals registered in Rhode Island.
Short-term rentals must be registered by Jan. 1, which is when it will become mandatory. Homeowners whose properties aren’t included in the database but are listed online could be fined up to $1,000.
“If we find people out of compliance, there would be a full administrative process,” Dwyer explained.
Once registered, each short-term rental will be given a number that can be displayed on third-party hosting websites, such as Airbnb or Vrbo, so potential renters know the property has been vetted.
Renters can search the database for certain properties to confirm their registration status and learn more about them prior to booking.