This page is only designed to give you an overview of the local requirements, but it is your duty to know and comply with the local laws. misterb&b is not a legal adviser : you should read carefully the relevant laws and contact a local adviser or the local authorities for further understanding.
The Hosts should refer to the Boston Zoning Code to make sure renting their accommodations are permitted in the relevant zones. If it is prohibited, a permission of use change may be granted by the Zoning Board. For contacts and more information, visit this page on the official website of the Boston Planning & Development Agency.
Every business in the City of Boston must apply for a certificate from the Office of the City Clerk. For contacts and information about the registration procedure, visit this page.
Under the Rental Ordinance (CBC 9-1.3), all private rental properties in the City of Boston must be registered annually at the Housing Division of the The Inspectional Services Department (ISD). For for more information about the registration procedure and contacts, visit this page.
However, lodging houses rented to 4 or more persons are not required to go through this registration process but must obtain a lodging license (application forms here).
Health and safety standards
Hosts must ensure their rentals comply with all the federal, state and local regulations applicable to residential dwellings, including, without limitation, the State Sanitary Code (105 CMR 410), the State Building Code (780 CMR) and the Boston Housing Code.
The Inspection Services Department will conduct inspections to check law compliance (here is a checklist to prepare). To contact the Inspectional Services, visit this portal on the official website of the City of Boston.
Room Occupancy Taxes
The State of Massachusetts imposes a Room Occupancy Tax of 5.7 % on rooms rented for $15 or more per day, for no more than 90 consecutive days (see Chapter 64 G of the General Laws of Massachusetts).
In addition, Massachusetts imposes a Convention Center Financing fee of 2.75 % on room occupancy in hotels, motels, or other lodging establishments in Boston.
The City of Boston levies up to an additional 6,5% local option Room Occupancy Tax.
For more information about the Room Occupancy Tax, visit this page on the Official Website of the Department of Revenue of the Massachusetts Government.