AirBnB Rental Rules in Jersey City

What to know before you pay to sleep in someone’s home or on their couch

Home-sharing services like AirBnB and HomeAway are giving the hotel industry a run for its money. Now travelers usually have additional lodging options when on the road. Instead of staying at a $200-per-night hotel in an in-demand location, travelers can rent out a room in a local home or even an entire house.

Not all cities approve of businesses like AirBnB

The changes brought by services like AirBnB have not been universally welcomed. For example, the services are restricted in New York. A person wishing to rent out a room must remain on the property when guests are present. This prevents homeowners from operating de facto hotels from afar without having to comply with the laws, rules and regulations that hotel operators have to follow. (If you're operating one, reach out to a reputable attorney to ensure you are complying.) Other cities oppose AirBnB on primarily economic grounds, saying that AirBnB and similar services harm local hotel industries.

Jersey City embraces AirBnB

Late in 2015, Jersey City announced legislation that would legalize AirBnB within city limits. While some hail the move as an example of a city embracing an evolving industry, travelers looking for a place to stay during their next trip to Jersey City should consider the effects of this legislation:

  • Prepare to pay a tax: Most significantly, booking a home, room or couch in Jersey City on AirBnB will require you to pay a 6 percent tax to the city. This is the same hospitality tax that is levied on guests who stay at any of Jersey City’s hotels or motels.
  • Don’t expect to see a host: Because of the legalization of AirBnB services within the city, the property owner who owns the home at which you are staying is not under any obligation to remain on the property. If something goes wrong during your stay—a water break, fire, or even a “bump in the night”—there may be a delay before receiving help or direction from the property owner.

For more information on this area, check out our overview of real estate laws.

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