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NH Supreme Court Rules that STRs are allowed in Conway by current definition

Click here to see a copy of the ruling

On Tuesday, May 2, the New Hampshire Supreme Court ruled in favor of short-term rental owner Scott Kudrick, allowing owners to continue renting properties, at least until the town of Conway decides to regulate them. The case centered on whether non-owner-occupied short-term rentals are permitted in residential districts under the Conway Zoning Ordinance. In January 2022, a county superior court judge ruled that short-term rentals fit within the definition of "residential dwelling unit" and did not need to be owner-occupied in residential zones. The recent New Hampshire Supreme Court ruling upheld this decision, stating that the language of Conway's ordinance did not clearly address short-term rentals and that it was up to the legislature and municipal authorities, not the courts, to consider any policy concerns related to short-term rentals. The town of Conway had previously filed for a declaratory judgment against Kudrick, arguing that "living as a household" required a level of stability in occupying a residential dwelling unit, but the court disagreed. The recent town vote to change a definition central to the case is also unclear in terms of its implications for short-term rentals. The town has been moving toward regulating short-term rentals in commercial zones for several months and has approved funds to expand the building department to allow licensing of short-term rentals and inspections of property.


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