Short-term rentals

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press file

Short-term rental operators in Portland are voicing opposition to a ballot question that will appear before voters in the city on Nov. 3.

Nora Flaherty / Maine Public File

Dozens of properties have yet to comply with South Portland’s new short-term rental ordinance, seven months after the rules were put into effect.

Nora Flaherty / Maine Public

Maine lawmakers are considering a bill that would prohibit cities and towns from passing most restrictions on short-term rentals that have exploded on websites like Airbnb.

Nora Flaherty / Maine Public

South Portland residents Tuesday endorsed an ordinance that bans some short-term rentals in the city. Short-term rentals have become increasingly common - and controversial - over the last few years, and the ordinance itself was the result of a long and contentious debate.

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Several cities and communities in Maine are grappling with a significant increase in short-term rentals, such as AirBnB or VRBO. Opponents say these change the tenor of a neighborhood and drive out long-term rentals, while supporters say these are good business opportunities for rental owners and they bring in tourist dollars. Cities like South Portland will put the issue to voters on Election Day, in terms of what regulations to put in place to limit short-term rentals.

After an emotionally-charged city council meeting, South Portland is set to either repeal a second version of its short-term rental ordinance or send it to voters in November.

Short-Term Rentals

Feb 3, 2017

Many Maine cities and towns are grappling with the growth of the short-term rental market - think AirBNB and VRBO - and whether to create ordinances regulating it.


John Root, Code Enforcement Officer for Rockland

Steve Hewins with the Maine Innkeepers Association

Melba Gunnison with Cottage Connection; she has been doing short-term rentals since 1999