The Town of Provincetown is ramping up its efforts to bring both short-term and long-term rental units (seasonal workforce and year-round housing) into compliance with the Provincetown Board of Health’s (BOH) Habitations for Rent regulations.
BOH regulations require all rental dwelling units in Provincetown to have a rental certificate to ensure property owners are educated about critical life safety and sanitation minimums necessary for providing suitable housing to renters.
Earlier this year, the Provincetown BOH updated its housing regulations to create two separate application processes for rental housing: one for short-term rentals (rental terms up to 31 consecutive days) and another for long-term rentals (seasonal or year-round housing).
Since then the Town’s Code Compliance Officer has been focused on robust short-term rental compliance efforts. The Town has engaged a third-party vendor to help monitor online short-term rental platforms and compare listings to the Town’s database of registered short-term rentals.
With short-term rental efforts well underway and helping to bring many unregistered short-term rentals into compliance, the Town is now boosting its efforts at getting long-term rental units registered and into compliance as well.
Town staff believe that many long-term rentals which house the seasonal workforce and our year-round residents are not properly registered. Among other requirements, rental dwellings must register with the BOH and comply with the following:
- They are kept in good repair;
- All smoke and CO detectors, fire extinguishers, and emergency lights are working;
- Egresses are unobstructed;
- All doors and windows are operable and have screens; and
- All plumbing fixtures are in good repair.
Applicants self-certify their compliance with a checklist of health and safety standards, and a representative sample of properties with long-term rental certificates are subject to a routine inspection to ensure these life safety and sanitation codes are met. The Community Development Department has received several reports of housing condition concerns for unlicensed properties, and staff are working on compliance in these cases and planning with owners for necessary repairs where maintenance has been deferred.
Anyone operating a long-term rental without an active rental certificate should voluntarily apply for a BOH certificate as soon as possible. The cost for a long-term rental certificate application is $300, and these certificates are valid for 3 years (but not transferable if property ownership changes). Those found to be operating a rental without the proper certificate shall be subject to double application fees ($600).
Applications for both long-term and short-term rental certificates can be submitted online at https://provincetownma.viewpointcloud.com/categories/1087/record-types/1006394