As established in the "Law for the Regulation of Non-Traditional Accommodation Through Digital Platforms (N. 20 865)", rental properties in Costa Rica for tourist visits (for example, using Airbnb or VRBO) must register with the Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT). There is a newly launched web platform from the ICT to make this registration easier.
Per the Law N° 20865, the ICT will ensure equal competition between accommodation companies (hotels, resorts, etc.) and individually owned rental properties (condos, rooms, etc.). Also, to ensure privately owned rental properties will have regulations that protect tourists who choose to rent non-traditional lodging. This law applies to any person or entity that rents to tourists for less than 30 days.
Note that "tourist" applies to nationals or foreigners alike – anyone renting accommodation for travel within the country
The new platform in the ICT website complies with the law allowing digital registration and has instructions on how to register, complete the form, and all of the requirements. It is designed to regulate the platforms of commercialization companies or intermediaries between users and the service provider.
Law N. 20865 also requires, in part, that non-traditional lodging:
Have the proper registration and municipal, commercial patent for non-traditional accommodation activity.
- Register with the General Directorate of Taxation for the payment of taxes.
- Issue a detailed invoice with the services provided according to the agreed upon prices.
- Ensure the safety, comfort, and privacy of the services' users also guarantee friendly, courteous, and respectful treatment.
- Not allow discrimination based on race, sex, religion, or other personal or social circumstances.
- Ensure maintenance and cleanliness of the facilities.