Managing Your Vacation Rental

Does your town require a vacation home registration fee?

Written by Joan Talmadge
4.7/5 - (19 votes)

ACCEPTEDMany towns on the Cape and Islands require vacation rental owners to register their homes and pay a fee. Listed below are the towns’ required fees as of  March 2024.

In most cases, you can download the registration application from the town’s website.  Note that we are simply passing along this information.  We are not involved in this process in any way.

  • Town of Barnstable:  $90; additional units are $25 ea.
  • Chatham: $50
  • Dennis:  $250
  • Eastham:  $75; $55-$60 water test; inspection completed the first year and every 3 – 5 years after 
  • Falmouth: $50.00; additional units are $25 ea.
  • Harwich:  $50 (expires 90 days after issuance)
  • Mashpee: $100 ($25 registration fee and $75 inspection fee)
  • Nantucket:  $250
  • Orleans:  no fee 
  • Plymouth:  $75
  • Provincetown:  $750
  • Truro:  $225
  • Wareham and Onset: $100 (includes registration and inspection fees)
  • West Tisbury: $190 ($115 registration fee and $75 inspection fee)
  • Yarmouth:  $80 via check or $70 via credit card/online
Community Impact Fee

Some towns have imposed a 3% Community Impact Fee on any homes whose owners rent more than one home in the town. This fee is in addition to the lodging tax.  As of this date, the towns of Provincetown, Wellfleet, Falmouth, and Plymouth have imposed this fee. If your rentals are affected by this fee, please contact our office and we will assist you in adjusting the lodging tax on your listings.

Tourism is the lifeblood of the Cape and Islands’ economy, and vacation rental homes are a vital contribution. However, the growing numbers and increasing rental rates of vacation rental homes on the Cape and Islands are coinciding with exploding market prices. Housing for year-round families and the local workforce is in short supply. As a result, town officials are documenting which homes are rented on a short-term basis and ensuring they have safety protocols in place. Some towns are defining the occupancy as well. (In most areas, it’s two people per bedroom plus two additional people.)

Note: The fees above are subject to change, so you will want to confirm with your town.  It is the responsibility of every vacation rental owner to verify the registration fee of their town and to comply with all local and state laws, regulations, required fees, applications, and inspections.

About the author

Joan Talmadge

Joan Talmadge - My husband Jeff and I created in 1997, shortly after buying our Cape home. My background includes teaching fifth grade for 8 years and writing and editing educational publications for 15. I get great joy from helping fellow homeowners successfully rent their homes. Jeff and I are proud to have two of our three grown children working for, truly a family-run business. For me, the Cape and Islands are magical all times of the year -- whether it's walking on Nauset Beach, playing golf, or enjoying family and friends. Email Joan


  • Lynn,
    You are right on target with your comments.
    Politicians raising taxes will force landlords to increase rents to survive. Eventually, high rents will drive tenants to rent in other locations rather than expensive Cape Cod. Less tenants and visitors will translate into less business for restaurants, retail stores, etc.
    What are they thinking by raising fees? The solution is for governements to spend less and reduce fees and taxes to encourage landlords and bring more tenants to the Cape.
    Express your concern and vote for those who understand the economic view point.

  • As an owner of a Dennis vacation home we have not heard of a registration tax. I assume this is in addition to any percentage tax that may be approved by the state. We have received nothing from the Town of Dennis regarding this tax. It seems in the 8+ years we have been renting our home that there are so many extra expenses that keep rising plus the many other homes now on the market for rent, We haven’t raised our rental fee in years. We feel, at this time, that we have reached the max for the area. We have also seen a downturn in the requests for information plus we have had 3 commitments for the summer that all canceled. I think there are too many available properties at this time. I guess another rental tax would be the icing on the cake. I always felt it would be better to have the house occupied than sitting empty. If another tax is added we will have to reconsider.