Nantucket's New Short-Term Rental Registry Goes Live

Jason Graziadei •

Short term rentals
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After more than a year of delay, Nantucket's short-term rental registry went live earlier this month. Property owners who operate short-term rentals on the island will soon be getting a letter in the mail, outlining what they are required to do to comply with the registration system adopted by Nantucket voters in 2022.

The letters will include a six-digit license number and an activation code.

"We are live as of Monday, March 4th," Nantucket Health Department director Roberto Santamaría told the Select Board last week. "Every address that was found through the web crawler and the scraping will get one of these letters."

After initially reviewing over 2,000 short-term rental listings and "de-duplicating" that list, Santamaría said the Health Department was able to identify 936 individual short-term rental properties that will receive the letters over the next two weeks. 

"What we're really trying to get out there to everyone is that this year is for registration purposes only," Santamaría said. "We're tracking down as much of the short-term rentals as possible through this process and our dashboard process, software, and real estate brokers. If we have major violations or you see a complaint, or anything you'd like to complain about for a short-term rental, call the GovOs hotline (508-315-6372) that is open 24 hours per day."

Santamaría urged people not to call the Health Department because it cannot log the complaints.

Formal enforcement of the regulations will begin on Jan. 1, 2025.

The registration system, which is intended to identify all short-term rental properties on the island that are rented for more than 14 days per year and less than 30 consecutive days, was approved by Town Meeting voters in 2022 and intended to start on Jan. 1, 2023. However, the failure of the firm the town initially hired to monitor and track short-term rentals - Granicus - to deliver a workable program and software led the town to cancel its contract with the company over the summer. A new vendor, GovOS, was hired and has been working with the Health Department since last November.

Beyond enhancing the town's ability to manage and control short-term rental properties, the registration system is also expected to provide much-needed data on the number and use of Nantucket's short-term rentals. Town Meeting voters set the stage for the new regulations in May 2022 when they approved Article 39, a general bylaw amendment, to establish a framework to regulate and register short-term rentals on the island. The proposal was sponsored by the Planning Board and was adopted on a 610-302 vote.

Following that vote, a small internal staff group of town staff members convened to prepare draft regulations for the Board of Health and Select Board to consider. The two boards ratified the regulations in September 2022.

Among other provisions, the regulations will require the following:

  • Short-term rental operators must obtain a certificate of registration from the Board of Health that has to be renewed annually by Nov. 1.
  • Pay an annual fee of $250 per unit for the certificate of registration.
  • Short-term rental operators must provide the town with the name and contact information for an individual who can respond to the property at any time of day within two hours to address major issues (such as a fire, plumbing, etc.)
  • A certificate of insurance for liability coverage to operate the property as a short-term rental with liability limits of at least $ 1 million per claim, unless the rental is offered through a hosting platform that maintains equal or greater coverage.
  • Limit occupancy of short-term rental properties to two people per bedroom plus two additional people in the unit.
  • Ensure parking at short-term rentals does not create a public health or public safety issue or create undue traffic congestion.

Any short-term rental operator who does not receive a letter by March 31st is being asked to call the GovOS number at 1-888-751-1911 or email them at to get an activation code.

On April 9th, GovOS will host a webinar to walk all Nantucket short-term rental operators through registration processes and to familiarize you with the system. The webinar will be recorded and posted online.

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