What is a vacation lodging service?

Jason Smith -

 "Vacation lodging service" means any person that engages in the business of providing the services of management, marketing, booking and rental of residential units owned by others as sleeping accommodations furnished for pay to transients or travelers staying no more than fourteen (14) days.

 

Requirements and License

Each vacation lodging service shall be required to have a vacation lodging service firm license but shall not be required to have a licensed real estate broker supervising the business. The application for the license shall be filed in the office of the real estate commission on forms that the commission may prescribe and shall be accompanied by a fee for the issuance of the license as specified in § 62-13-308.

Upon application for a firm license for a vacation lodging service and each renewal of the license, the firm shall designate one (1) individual from that firm who shall be individually licensed as a designated agent through the Tennessee real estate commission. Such designated agent shall be responsible for the completion of training programs to be taught by an individual in the vacation lodging services business or other person who meets qualifications set by the Tennessee real estate commission. Such training programs shall consist of instruction in the fundamentals of this subsection (b) and related topics. No person shall be licensed by the commission as a designated agent until such person completes the required eight-hour introductory course.

Every two (2) years, as a requisite for the reissuance of a firm license for a vacation lodging service and for reissuance of the designated agent license, the firm shall furnish certification that the designated agent for the firm has completed eight (8) classroom hours in training programs approved by the commission.

Upon application for a firm license for a vacation lodging service and each renewal of the license, the firm shall provide proof of the establishment of the firm's escrow account satisfactory to the commission. Every firm shall, in accordance with the rules promulgated by the commission under § 62-13-203, keep an escrow or trustee account of funds deposited with the firm relating to vacation lodging services. The vacation lodging service shall maintain for a period of at least three (3) years accurate records of the account showing:

         (i) The depositor of the funds;

         (ii) The date of deposit;

         (iii) The payee of the funds; and

         (iv) Other pertinent information that the commission may require.

      (D)  (i) No funds shall be distributed from the escrow/trustee account until the customer's stay is complete, unless the distribution is in accordance with terms disclosed to the renter in writing at the time of making the reservation or within a reasonable time thereafter not to exceed three (3) days, mailed to the renter through the United States postal service or transmitted to the renter via electronic mail, facsimile or other tangible form of communication. Commissions earned by the firm and the revenue due owners shall be disbursed at least monthly. Funds held in escrow shall be disbursed in a prompt manner without unreasonable delay.

All firm and designated agent licenses for vacation lodging services shall expire two (2) years from the date the license was issued or renewed. The firm license and the license for the designated agent for the firm, and all renewals thereof, shall expire at the same time. If a license is issued to a designated agent following the date the firm license is issued or renewed, the license for the designated agent shall be issued or renewed so that it expires on the date the license of the firm is to expire. The commission is authorized to pro-rate the license for the designated agent or extend the date for the renewal of such a license to ensure the licenses expire concurrently. The licenses must be renewed on or before the expiration date by remitting to the commission the fee as set by the commission together with proof of the existence of the firm's escrow account satisfactory to the commission and certification of satisfactory completion of training pursuant to subdivision (b)(3)(B).

Each vacation lodging service shall have an office at a fixed location with adequate facilities located to conform with zoning laws and ordinances. Within ten (10) days after any change of location of the office, the vacation lodging service shall notify the commission in writing of the new business address.

 

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