The Nantucket Life

Jordan Real Estate

Tax Details

The rental market is in full swing.    We’ve had many calls inquiring about the new rental tax.  So here is a quick summary of what we know.   The rental tax will start at 11.7% this year.  This may change at any time.  The most important bullet points are as follows but for complete information please visit mass.gov or call Jordan Real Estate to talk to one of our knowledgeable brokers.

For any leases signed after January 1, 2019, an 11.7% occupancy tax will be attached.  For this year only, leases where the arrival date is prior to July 1, 2019 are exempt from the tax.  This also does not apply to leases longer than 31 days.  If a homeowner only leases their home for 2 weeks out of the year, the tenants who rent for those 2 weeks are exempt from the tax.  The occupancy tax will be paid by the tenant, just as they would pay if staying at a hotel or Bed and Breakfast.  As an agent of the homeowner, we (Jordan Real Estate) will be collecting the tax and remitting it to the state and local authorities.  Also just to clear up a common misconception, the tax is not included in the rent, while the commission is included.  So an additional 11.7% will be added to the cost of rent not subtracted from it (as the commission is).  Homeowners will be required to have a minimum or 1 Million dollars in insurance.  They will also be required to register their rental home.  As of now there is no such registry to add your rental home to, so it seems we will cycle back to that when the registry is live. Bottom Line is, no one likes paying taxes, but it is what it is and we’re all going to have to get used to it.  You can’t bargain with Uncle Sam.

Time is of the essence.  Homeowners please keep us updated as often as possible to any changes in your availability or your property in general.  Tenants if you haven’t booked your vacation contact us regarding your summer vacation while there is still inventory to chose from.

The Year in Review

For those of you who think of January as the “off season” on Nantucket, I’m here to point out the reasons why you would be wrong.  I think while everyone is singing Fa la la around the Christmas tree or dreidel dreidel in the glow of the Menorah with their family and friends over the holiday season, fond memories of summers past on good ole’ ACK emerge, and the planning of another summer vacation begins.  On the day after Christmas there is a major influx of folks ready to book their Nantucket Vacation.  And then, Wham, the Governor of Massachusetts threw us for a loop and passed a short- term rental tax with 4 days left in 2018 to spare leaving brokers and tenants in a frenzy to get leases executed prior to the January 1st deadline.  And then the steamship authority opened for Car Ferry Reservations and the rental tsunami began.    Long Story short, January is Busy…and the Real Estate market on Nantucket is alive and kicking.  Here is a snapshot of the 2018 Real Estate Sales Market.  Some of the Charts are taken from our Listing Service LINK.  If you would like to be enrolled into Nantucket’s MLS, or have any further questions about Nantucket’s Real Estate Market or the impending Rental Tax, please contact us.

Massachusetts Short-term Rental Tax

Governor Baker signed into law a bill regulating and taxing short-term rentals.  The details we have collected so far are as follows:

The tax is to be paid by the tenant.

State Tax: 5.7% 

Local Tax:  6% on Nantucket

Cape Cod & Islands Water Protection Fund: 2.75%
Community impact tax: 3%
*The Town of Nantucket has yet to vote on these specific taxes.   

For stays starting July 1, 2019 that are booked January 1, 2019 or later. If a lease was signed prior to January 1st, no tax is due.

For any stays of 31 days or less.

Each rental unit will need to be listed with the state short-term rental registry.

The law requires whoever collects payment for the rental to collect the tax and remit it to the Commonwealth. The Department of Revenue will issue regulations to clarify how often the tax should be remitted to the Department.

Every home owner that rents out their property must carry not less than $1 million of liability coverage for each stay unless the hosting platform provides equal or greater coverage. Coverage shall defend and indemnify the operator and any tenants or owners in the building for bodily injury and property damage arising from the short-term rental. However, if the hosting platform (the real estate brokerage, HomeAway, Airbnb, etc.) can elect to provide the coverage for their properties on behalf of the owner.

The tax imposed by the new law does not apply to properties rented for fewer than fourteen (14) days per calendar year. It is important to note that these properties are still subject to the other requirements of the law, such as insurance and registration and these properties must file a notice with the Department of Regulation saying they will only rent for less than 14 days and will be responsible for paying the taxes themselves if rented for more than 14 days and did not collect it for the first 14 days.

Cities and towns may implement a health and safety inspection requirement and set the frequency of inspections. Short-term rental operators are required to cover the cost of inspections and will likely face a fee to cover registration costs as well.

New Short Term Rental Documents:

Insurance Disclosure to Homeowners

14-Day Exemption Form

We will continue to keep you updated as we receive more information.

We made it through Columbus Day


During this off season, we have some tips for both tenants and Landlords.  For tenants, let us know as soon as possible whether you’d like to return to your rental, or exactly what you’re looking for in a Nantucket Vacation.  The earlier we begin, the wider the options will be.  We have plenty of Nantucket experts here to help make your perfect dream vacation come true.

For home owners it’s time to update us on your rates and availability for next summer.  It’s hard to believe but we are already getting inquiries.  Also, please let us know if there are any changes being made to your property, including renovations, pool or cottage additions or changes to your cleaners or caretakers.  Now is also a good time to inspect your home to see if anything needs refreshing after this busy season.  Most items that typically need updating include:

  • Linens
  • Pillows and Mattresses
  • Area Rugs
  • Beach Chairs and accessories
  • Cookware
  • Patio furniture and grills

This Holiday season if you’re in town, stop by the office to say hi to our new Sales associate Olga Malahova.  Some of you may have already been acquainted with Olga as she has been reaching out to become familiar with our office clients and the rental homes in our inventory.  She can be reached at olga@jordanre.com or 508-228-4449 ext. 122.

Contact us today for Sales or help with your holiday and summer rentals.