New Law on Apr. 1 requires registering Short Term Rental Properties

Short Term Rental

The Cambridge City Council adopted a Short-Term Rental (STR) Ordinance (#1397) which goes in effect on April 1, 2018 and regulates the rental of property for transient housing (stays of 30 days or less). Cambridge residents who meet eligibility requirements and wish to use their residential property for short-term rental must register with the city’s Inspectional Services Department by April 1, 2018.

Platforms such Airbnb®, Home Away™, and others have made the short-term rental of bedrooms or whole dwelling units a popular travel accommodation option, particularly in urban areas where hotel prices can be very high.

Research shows that Cambridge has hundreds of short-term rental units available. Just like other types of lodging houses and hotels, short-term rentals will also be required to comply with building code, life safety regulations, and health and hygiene standards. In order to qualify for a short-term rental certificate, the respective dwelling unit or bedroom must also be inspected by a city inspector. Additionally, the operator of a short-term rental must live in, or adjacent to the unit, as described in the new ordinance.

The city’s Inspectional Services Department held two informal drop-in sessions in February where residents could ask questions about the new Ordinance, eligibility requirements, learn more about obtaining a Certificate of Registration, or check on the specific conditions of their dwelling unit.

At this time, one more information session will be held on Tuesday, Mar. 27, 5:30-7:30 p.m., in the Lombardi Building, Basement Conference Room, 831 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge.

For more information, visit

Page was posted on 1/26/2018 10:46 AM
Page was last modified on 2/4/2020 11:08 AM
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