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1.2.19 State News: Important Information on the New MA Short-Term Rentals Law

Governor Charlie Baker has signed into law a bill regulating and taxing short-term rentals. The timeline for implementation of the law will pose significant challenges for REALTORS® conducting short-term rentals in 2019. The Massachusetts Association of REALTORS® has created a helpful Q&A to provide REALTORS® with an overview of the new law that goes fully into effect in July. MAR has also posted the following documents to help manage short-term rentals: 

- Updated Short-Term Rental Lease
- Community Impact Fee Form
- 14-day Exemption Form
- Required Insurance Disclosure Form

These forms and more information on the impacts of the new law are available here from MAR


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12.31.18 National News: NAR Helps Secure FEMA Reversal On New Flood Policies During Shutdown

In a critical win for home sales while the partial shutdown of the federal government is ongoing, the Federal Emergency Management Agency will issue and renew flood insurance policies, reversing an unexpected and controversial ruling the agency released earlier this week.

On December 21st, Congress passed legislation that extended the National Flood Insurance Program until May 31, 2019. In an unexpected policy decision, though, FEMA on December 26th said it couldn't allow insurers to issue and renew federal policies while the partial government shutdown was ongoing. That ruling was unexpected because in past government shutdowns, FEMA continued to operate the program as authorized. NAR, along with other organizations, including the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America and the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America, urged policy makers to reevaluate the decision. Congress expressed concern as well.

Link to FEMA's reversal announcement available here

More from the National Association of REALTORS® available here.



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12.27.18 National News: FEMA Issues Opinion Halting Sale or Renewal of Flood Insurance Policies During Government Shutdown

Yesterday, FEMA notified insurers that they would not be able to sell or renew flood insurance policies under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) during the partial government shutdown. Insurers could however still pay claims on existing policies.

NAR, together with most of the insurance groups, responded strongly and swiftly, noting that Congress and President Trump last Friday enacted legislation specifically reauthorizing the NFIP through May 31, 2019. NAR and insurance groups are now working with FEMA, the White House and Congress to find a way forward and resolve this situation.

More from the National Association of REALTORS®


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12.26.18 National News: What A Government Shutdown Means for REALTORS®

Below is information on how REALTORS® will be affected by the partial federal government shutdown based on a National Association of REALTORS® staff review of agency contingency plans for the current shutdown and experience with previous shutdowns:

Federal Government Shutdown FAQ for REALTORS®


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12.21.18 National News: National Flood Insurance Program Extended Until May 31, 2019

Late Friday, December 21, Congress passed an extension of the National Flood Insurance Program until May 31, 2019 avoiding a lapse that would have begun at midnight.

More here from the National Association of REALTORS®.


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12.20.18 State News: Massachusetts Lawmakers Reach Short-Term Rental Agreement

With the clock ticking on the end of the two-year session, House and Senate leaders finalized a deal Thursday to tax and regulate short-term housing rentals through websites like Airbnb, reviving a bill that passed in July but was imperiled by concerns raised by Gov. Charlie Baker.

The new version still would apply the 5.7 percent hotel and motel room tax to units rented on a short-term basis. Legislative leaders, however, agreed to a change proposed by Baker that would exempt homeowners who rent out their units for 14 or fewer days a year from having to collect the tax.

The House and Senate also agreed to postpone an extra Boston Convention and Exhibition Center financing fee on short-term units rented in Boston, Cambridge, Worcester, Springfield, West Springfield and Chicopee for about 10 years, or until the bonds on the BCEC are paid.

The bill reached Baker’s desk Thursday night, giving the governor 10 days to review the final redraft and decide whether to sign this new version. The new legislative session begins on Jan. 2, and Baker gets sworn in for his second term on Jan. 3.

More here from Commonwealth Magazine and the State House News Service.


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