The Ins and Outs of Short Term Rental Licenses

May 24, 2023

If you want to rent out your property for less than 30 days, you need a short-term rental license. This applies to all short-term or vacation rentals, whether you want to rent out a house, apartment, accessory dwelling unit, or residential dwelling unit. We created this guide to help you navigate the process of obtaining one. Keep reading to learn what a short-term rental is, all about short-term rental permits and licenses, and the best tips for successful short-term rental housing.

What Are Short-Term Rental Licenses?

Short-term rental licenses are permits issued by local governments that allow you to rent out your homes or apartments for short-term stays, usually less than 30 days. These licenses help regulate the short-term rental industry. Plus, they ensure hosts comply with local short-term rental laws and zoning restrictions.

Short-term rental licenses can benefit both you and your guests. They provide a safer, more regulated environment for short-term rentals. A licensed short-term rental also guarantees certain safety and health standards, which can attract more guests.

Understand Short-Term Rental Regulations

Short-term rentals should be safe, comply with regulations, and avoid disturbing local peace and safety. Short-term rental laws may differ by region, and property owners or hosts must abide by the laws and regulations established by their local government. Zoning restrictions, occupancy limits, and safety requirements are a few examples of those rules.

This is why you need to be familiar with local regulations and rules where the rental property is located. These rules could limit the number of days a private residence may be rented out, demand the acquisition of a license or permission, require you to collect and remit taxes, and more.

It is also important to understand that short-term rental regulations are constantly changing. You can stay up to date through city council meetings, news, and local owner associations.

The Application Process

The first step is to research the regulations and requirements. This may include registering with your local government or obtaining a permit.

Check out your city's website to find the application page and gather all the necessary documentation to complete the application form. You may need proof of ownership or permission from the rental operator, insurance coverage, and safety certifications. All of this will depend on your city, so carefully review the application to ensure you provide all the required information.

Once you have completed the application, you must typically pay an application fee. Then all you need to do is wait for approval. This process may take several weeks or even months, so it's important to plan ahead and be patient. Once your application has been approved and you have obtained your short-term rental license, you can begin advertising your entire property and accepting bookings from guests through an online portal.

Compliance and Additional Requirements

Maintaining accurate records of all guests and their information, collecting and remitting applicable taxes, and obtaining liability insurance are all part of remaining compliant with the law. You should also follow all health and safety standards, including providing working smoke detectors and fire extinguishers in your rental unit.

Some jurisdictions may have additional requirements that you need to follow to maintain your short-term rental license. For example, you may need to obtain a separate business license, pay an annual renewal fee, or submit to regular inspections.

Tips for Successful Short-Term Rental Hosting

Renting your primary residence on a short-term basis without the right knowledge could lead to legal problems and poor customer experiences. But following the tips below, you can have a successful short-term rental strategy.

Staying Up to Date on Local Regulations

Laws and regulations regarding short-term rentals can vary greatly from city to city. This could include licenses or permits, occupancy limits, noise restrictions, and required taxes. By staying informed and compliant with local regulations, you can avoid potential fines and law enforcement action and ensure a positive experience for both you and your guests.

Communicate With Neighboring Properties and Local Officials

By reaching out to your neighbors and local officials, you can build positive relationships and address any concerns they may have about your property. Share your contact information and invite them to reach out with any questions or concerns. This might sound like a lot of effort, but it's worth it. You may also want to consider joining any local short-term rental associations or groups, as these can be valuable resources for networking, sharing best practices, and staying informed about local regulations and industry trends.

Maintaining Your Property and Addressing Guest Concerns

A great guest experience and the protection of your investment depend on property maintenance. This includes regular upkeep and cleaning, making sure that all amenities and equipment are in good working order, and giving visitors clear instructions on how to use everything.

Additionally, you should be prepared to respond to any issues or concerns that guests may have while visiting. Try to attend to maintenance requests as quickly as possible, offer extra amenities or services to address any problems, and provide refunds or discounts if necessary.

Leverage Maintenance & Cleaning Services for Successful Hosting

Everyone wants to rent a clean place. As an owner, it's your job to make this a reality for all guests. But tackling all the cleaning yourself can be challenging, especially if you have multiple properties, and you might not be able to clean as well as a full-service company. A cleaning company like TIDY is a great investment. TIDY can ensure that all your properties are in the best condition possible when your guests arrive.

But even before you start booking guests, you need to present your property in the most appealing way possible to attract potential renters. Create an account with TIDY today and discover how a cleaning service can increase your rental profits.

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