2017 Advocacy Outlook

    The 2016 elections are behind us, and soon the 2017 legislative sessions will be underway. This next year will have a number of legislative opportunities to protect the vacation rental industry. However, there will always be threats, like those from the hotel industry.

    It is imperative for managers and industry suppliers to reach out to their local and state elected officials in the coming months. Many of you may have relationships built, but there is always room for improvement.

    The most recent election saw a nearly 20 percent change in state legislature districts’ representation, according to a new FiscalNote analysis. FiscalNote states that, “A total of 1,340 districts—320 in upper chambers and 1,020 in lower chambers—will have new legislators.” This type of shift, while not necessarily a partisan shift, will have major policy implications in the 2017 sessions.

    New Hampshire, a state that voted to study short-term rental regulations last session, had a 54 percent change in House representation. Similarly, the Florida Senate had a nearly 50 percent change.

    Changes like this are an opportunity for the vacation rental management industry to demonstrate their commitment to professional property management, contribute to the overall travel and tourism industry, and provide consumers with safe and affordable lodging options.

    Arizona’s short-term rental standards bill, SB 1350, is now being offered as model legislation moving into 2017. There will be a growing number of states that will have similar bills to protect the vacation rental industry. This model can be replicated but only when the vacation rental industry, home-sharing advocates, property owners and property rights groups organize and communicate with their state officials.

    In the coming months you will receive VRMA advocacy alerts about issues like state standards bills. Your response to the alerts will help VRMA and industry allies to communicate with public officials on the importance of the industry. Keep up-to-date on issues in your state, and learn more about advocacy alerts by visiting the advocacy page and Twitter and Facebook

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