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Kalamazoo Short Term Rental Regulation: A Guide For Airbnb Hosts

Kalamazoo, Michigan

What are short term rental (Airbnb, VRBO) regulations in Kalamazoo, Michigan?

The short term rental (Airbnb, VRBO) regulations in Kalamazoo, Michigan require all types of rental properties, including short-term rentals like hotels, motels, and properties listed on Airbnb or VRBO, to pass periodic inspections. Landlords must register their rental properties with the city, pay an annual fee of $110, and a $55 inspection fee.

Short-term stays through online listing sites are allowed, but only in commercial zoning districts and some residential districts with a variance. The city has identified properties in violation of regulations due to not being registered or being in the incorrect zoning district.

The city is monitoring online listings and plans to perform regular reviews. The zoning ordinance does not specifically identify short-term rentals but includes land use categories applicable to them. The city also limits the number of unrelated adult occupants in many residential zones.

The city's master plan aims to review and update permitted uses to facilitate new businesses. The regulations emphasize safety, compliance, and adherence to zoning requirements for short-term rental properties in Kalamazoo.

Starting a Short Term Rental Business in Kalamazoo

To start a short-term rental business in Kalamazoo, Michigan, landlords must adhere to specific guidelines and regulations set by the city. Here are the key steps to initiate a short-term rental business in Kalamazoo based on the provided sources:

  • Registration and Certification: Landlords must register their rental properties with the city of Kalamazoo. This process involves completing an online registration form, providing property details, and designating a local registered agent. The city will then schedule an inspection to ensure the property meets safety and quality standards.
  • Licensing Requirement: Obtaining a rental license is mandatory for all rental properties in Kalamazoo, including short-term rentals. Landlords need to pay an annual fee of $110 and a $55 inspection fee. The license certifies that the property is compliant with city regulations.
  • Zoning Compliance: Short-term stays through online listing sites are allowed in commercial zoning districts and some residential districts with a variance. It is essential to ensure that the property is in the correct zoning district to operate as a short-term rental.
  • Tax Obligations: Hosts are required to collect and remit the city's 5% Accommodations Tax, in addition to any state or county taxes. Compliance with tax regulations is crucial for operating a short-term rental business in Kalamazoo.
  • Awareness of Regulations: Landlords must be aware of the city's rules and regulations regarding short-term rentals. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in violations and penalties.

By following these steps and ensuring compliance with the city's regulations, landlords can establish and operate a short-term rental business in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Short Term Rental Licensing Requirement in Kalamazoo

Based on the search results, the key points regarding the short-term rental licensing requirement in Kalamazoo, Michigan are:

All rental properties in Kalamazoo, including short-term rentals, must be registered and certified by the city. Landlords must complete an online registration form, provide property details, and designate a local registered agent.

The city will then schedule an inspection of the property. If no issues are found, the city will issue a Certificate of Compliance, allowing the property to be rented out as a short-term rental.

The rental registration and certification process is mandatory for all short-term rental operators in Kalamazoo. Landlords must obtain this license and comply with the city's regulations in order to legally operate a short-term rental business.

The licensing requirement is part of Kalamazoo's broader effort to manage and regulate short-term rentals within the city. It allows the city to track and monitor short-term rental activity while ensuring properties meet safety and quality standards.

In summary, Kalamazoo has a strict licensing requirement for all short-term rental properties, which landlords must obtain and maintain in order to legally operate a short-term rental business in the city.

Required Documents for Kalamazoo Short Term Rentals

the required documents for short-term rentals in Kalamazoo, Michigan include:

  • Rental Registration Form: Landlords must complete an online Rental Registration Form provided by the City of Kalamazoo. This form collects information about the property, the registered local agent, and other details necessary for registration3.
  • Certificate of Compliance: Landlords must ensure that their property receives a Certificate of Compliance prior to leasing it as a short-term rental. This certificate is issued by the city after the property passes inspection and meets all necessary requirements3.
  • Proof of Registration: Landlords must provide proof of registration for their rental property, demonstrating that they have complied with the city's regulations and obtained the necessary license to operate a short-term rental business in Kalamazoo.
  • Contact Information Updates: Landlords or their designated local agents are responsible for keeping all contact information, including email addresses and phone numbers, current with the Rental Registration & Certification Program. Any changes in contact information must be promptly updated with the city to ensure effective communication and compliance3.
  • Inspection Scheduling: The local agent is responsible for scheduling all inspections and re-inspections required for certification. It is crucial to adhere to the inspection schedule and ensure that the property meets the city's safety and quality standards3.

By providing these required documents and fulfilling the necessary steps outlined by the City of Kalamazoo, landlords can legally register and operate short-term rentals in compliance with the city's regulations.

Kalamazoo Short Term Rental Taxes

Kalamazoo requires short-term rental hosts to collect and remit the city's 5% Accommodations Tax, in addition to any state or county taxes. Hosts must register with the city's tax department and file regular tax returns.

The Accommodations Tax helps the city generate revenue from the short-term rental industry, which can be used to fund infrastructure, public services, and other initiatives that benefit the community.

Kalamazoo-wide Short Term Rental Rules

The Kalamazoo-wide short-term rental rules include the following key points based on the provided sources:

  • Zoning Restrictions: Short-term stays through online listing sites are allowed in commercial zoning districts and some residential districts with a variance. However, properties must be in the correct zoning district to operate as short-term rentals.
  • Registration Requirement: Landlords must register their rental properties with the city of Kalamazoo. This process involves completing an online registration form, providing property details, and designating a local registered agent.
  • Compliance with City Regulations: Short-term rental properties must comply with the city's rules and regulations. Failure to comply can result in violations and penalties.
  • Occupancy Limits: The city limits the number of unrelated adult occupants in many residential zones. This regulation aims to maintain the residential character of neighborhoods and prevent overcrowding in short-term rental properties.
  • Enforcement and Monitoring: The city of Kalamazoo actively monitors online listings within city limits and plans to conduct regular reviews to ensure compliance with regulations. Notices are sent to property owners found in violation of city rules.
  • Taxation: Short-term rental hosts are required to collect and remit the city's 5% Accommodations Tax, in addition to any state or county taxes. Compliance with tax regulations is essential for operating a short-term rental business in Kalamazoo.

These rules and regulations are in place to manage and regulate the short-term rental industry in Kalamazoo, ensuring that properties meet safety standards, comply with zoning requirements, and operate within the city's guidelines.

Does Kalamazoo Strictly Enforce STR Rules?

Kalamazoo appears to be relatively Airbnb-friendly compared to some other Michigan cities that have outright banned short-term rentals. The city has taken enforcement action against illegal STR operators, indicating they do enforce their regulations.

However, some Airbnb hosts on Reddit and Bigger Pockets report operating in Kalamazoo despite the rules, suggesting enforcement may not be strict across the board.

It's important to note that while Kalamazoo has a regulatory framework in place for short-term rentals, the city's enforcement efforts may vary depending on the specific circumstances and complaints received. Some hosts may be able to operate with minimal oversight, while others may face stricter enforcement.

How to Start a Short Term Rental Business in Kalamazoo

To start a short-term rental business in Kalamazoo, Michigan, landlords must follow specific steps based on the information provided in the sources:

  • Register Your Rental Property: Landlords need to register their rental properties with the city of Kalamazoo. This registration process involves completing an online form, providing property details, and designating a local registered agent2.
  • Pass Inspections: All types of rental properties, including short-term rentals, must pass periodic inspections to ensure they meet safety and quality standards. Landlords should schedule inspections according to certain deadlines to earn certificates for their rental properties2.
  • Apply for Business Licenses: Landlords may need to apply for a Temporary Use Permit for short-term activities on private property, such as short-term rentals, that may not usually be allowed by zoning regulations. This permit allows for activities like sales or food stands that are temporary in nature4.
  • Comply with Tax Regulations: Short-term rental hosts are required to collect and remit the city's 5% Accommodations Tax, in addition to any state or county taxes. Compliance with tax regulations is crucial for operating a short-term rental business in Kalamazoo5.
  • Consider Vacation Rental Management: Landlords can explore vacation rental management services like RedAwning to help manage their short-term rental properties effectively and take advantage of positive vacation rental trends in Kalamazoo5.

By following these steps, landlords can successfully start and operate a short-term rental business in Kalamazoo, Michigan, while ensuring compliance with city regulations and requirements.

Who to Contact in Kalamazoo About Short Term Rental Regulations and Zoning?

For questions about short-term rental regulations and zoning in Kalamazoo, contact the city's Community Planning & Economic Development department at (269) 337-8044 or planning@kalamazoocity.org.

The department can provide guidance on the registration process, licensing requirements, and any other inquiries related to short-term rentals in Kalamazoo.

What do Airbnb Hosts in Kalamazoo on Reddit and Bigger Pockets Think About Local Regulations?

the Airbnb hosts in Kalamazoo on Reddit and Bigger Pockets seem to have mixed opinions about the local regulations:

Some Kalamazoo Airbnb hosts report operating short-term rentals despite the city's regulations, suggesting the rules may not be strictly enforced23. This indicates that some hosts are willing to push the boundaries or disregard the rules altogether.

Other hosts express frustration with the licensing requirements and occupancy limits, but acknowledge the need for some regulation23. This suggests a recognition that regulations are necessary, even if the hosts find them burdensome.

There is a sentiment among some Kalamazoo Airbnb hosts that the city needs to "get up to speed with the times" and better accommodate the short-term rental industry1. This suggests a desire for more Airbnb-friendly policies.

Bed and breakfast operators in Kalamazoo have raised concerns that Airbnb creates more competition, while their businesses are more heavily regulated and taxed1. This highlights tensions between traditional hospitality businesses and the short-term rental industry.

Overall, the Kalamazoo Airbnb hosts seem to have a mixed reaction to the local regulations. While some are willing to operate outside the rules, others acknowledge the need for regulation, even if they find the requirements burdensome. The city's enforcement efforts and the impact on traditional hospitality businesses also appear to be points of contention.

⚡️
Reveal your property’s rental profitability

Buy this property and list it on Airbnb.