What's new in the short-term rental industry? January 2024 Edition

Dive into the January edition of our new monthly STR news digest, so you can catch up with the latest industry news and get all the information you need in one place.
Minut News
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January 16, 2024
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What's new in the short-term rental industry? January 2024 Edition

The vacation rental industry has many moving parts and evolves rapidly. With new regulations introduced daily and a fluctuating market, keeping up with the latest news is key to maintaining a healthy STR business. This is why we’ve decided to bring you a monthly vacation-rental-focused news digest – so you can get all the information you need in one place. Let’s get started!

Rapid expansion observed in vacation rentals in the Middle East

With multiple Middle Eastern countries having recently introduced regulations with the aim of simplifying the process of renting out vacation rental homes – such as the UAE and Saudi Arabia – the region is expected to experience a vacation rental boom in the near future. At the forefront of this change are the United Arab Emirates, who seek to expand the success of their blossoming STR industry beyond bustling Dubai and into other emirates such as Abu Dhabi and Ras Al-Khaimah. This growth is also a testament to the possibility of harmony between the short-term rental industry and the hotel industry, with multiple Middle Eastern branches of hotels such as the Marriott now offering points to guests choosing to stay in apartments. The UAE’s introduction of new visas for remote workers and the decision to align the weekend with Western schedules also emphasize the pivotal role that remote workers will play in the expansion of the STR industry in the country. The region is now more attractive than ever for investors worldwide.

UK tax office seeks more information from part-time vacation rental owners 

According to Plus Accounting, ‘side hustles’ now seem to be on His Majesty’s Revenue and Customs’ (HMRC) radar in the UK, who are now targeting part-time vacation rental actors such as hosts renting out rooms or a second home. HMRC will now be requiring information such as tax ID, bank account details, and transaction values. Following new regulations introduced for online marketplace operators with the aim of ‘helping online sellers get their tax right’ and avoid non-compliance, all vacation rental actors, even with minimal activity, will now need to communicate their income to the tax office. However, sellers with under 30 transactions or less than 2000 euros in revenue will remain exempt.

Growth may soon be observed in American vacation rentals in smaller cities and rural areas 

In 2023, demand for short-term rentals decreased in the US as many Americans opted for international travel, with urban cities remaining the main travel destinations within the country. However, according to AirDNA’s 2024 predictions, American travel tendencies are about to change. A predicted drop in house prices may lead to an increase in disposable income for travel. But what does this mean for vacation rental actors? On the one hand, urban locations faced rapid growth in 2022 and 2023, which has led to a drastic increase in regulations and competition and will inevitably trigger challenges in 2024. On the other, leisure demand (especially in coastal areas and in resort locations) is expected to recover in 2024. Mid-size and small cities as well as rural markets are projected to lead demand growth and play a bigger role in the US vacation rental market this year.

Graph of demand change by location type by AirDNA
A shift from urban to small city/rural demand is expected to be observed in 2024

Noise regulations in vacation rentals are on the rise: Fort Lauderdale’s example

Excessive noise in vacation rentals remains a global issue, with many cities and councils introducing new regulations to tackle increasing neighborhood complaints. In Fort Lauderdale, Florida, a new regulation was recently put in place to stop these nuisances. The city of Fort Lauderdale Commission approved an amendment to the Vacation Rental ordinance, which requires each vacation rental to be equipped with a noise level detection device alerting the property owner/responsible party and transient occupants to noise emanating from the vacation rental. Failing to comply will result in a first $250 fine, followed by a $325 fine for repeat offenders. This regulation sparks the need for a broader conversation around the need for privacy-safe noise monitoring, which can help protect hosts’ properties, communities, and guests simultaneously. You can learn more about how the Minut sensor can help you abide by noise regulations without infringing on guest privacy here.

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