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Kansas City Short Term Rental Regulation: A Guide For Airbnb Hosts

Kansas City Missouri

What are Short Term Rental (Airbnb, VRBO) Regulations in Kansas City, Missouri?

Kansas City has implemented new regulations on short term rentals like Airbnb and Vrbo to curb their spread in residential areas and make their owners more accountable to the city. The regulations include a flat fee for owners to register units and limit where new units can crop up in the city. Non-resident short term rentals, where the rental is not the owner's primary residence, are now prohibited from registering and operating in city districts zoned as residential.

This means neither local nor out-of-state companies can operate homes that they don't live in full time as short term rentals if those units aren't already properly registered with the city's program. Non-resident short term rentals can still register units in areas zoned as office, business or commercial districts. Resident short term rentals are not subject to these zoning restrictions.

The new rules come as an audit of the city’s current short term rental program found that since it started in 2018, about 93% of short term rental units in the city have operated without a permit. The city has also accepted an influx of applications before the new ordinances were in place, leading to concerns about the impact on neighborhoods.

The regulations also toughen penalties on unregistered short-term rentals, restrict where certain short-term rentals can be located, place a different department in charge of enforcement and change requirements around licensing Airbnbs with the city. The new rules require operators to get a permit from the city before they can list their property on a site like Airbnb, with new listings under these rules must include the registration number from the city in their listing.

The new rules also restrict the location of short-term rentals, particularly when the property owner does not live on site. These non-resident short-term rentals will not be allowed in neighborhoods zoned as residential. That rule is effective immediately. In addition, a non-resident short-term rental in a building with less than three dwelling units cannot be fewer than 1,000 feet from another non-resident short-term rental in the same building. In a building with more than three units, a non-resident short-term rental will not be approved if 25% or more of the units are already listed as a short-term rental. The ordinances also move oversight of short-term rentals to the city’s neighborhoods department.

Short term rentals currently registered with the city will need to comply with the new regulations once their annual registration expires. Any short term rentals operating without a permit will be subject to fines and penalties, including fines of up to $1,000 per day of violation and up to 180 days in jail.

Starting a Short Term Rental Business in Kansas City

Initiating a short term rental business in Kansas City involves a series of steps to comply with local regulations. Property owners must register their rental with the city's Neighborhood Services Department. This process includes submitting essential documents such as proof of possession, registration with QuickTax, and evidence of the primary residence of the registrant. Non-resident owners are required to provide additional documentation, including notice of active accounts for the property and management control and responsibility affidavits.

Before proceeding with registration, it is crucial to ensure that the property is situated in a zone that permits short term rentals. Kansas City designates specific areas as "residential-zoned" districts, where non-resident short term rentals are prohibited. However, owner-occupied short term rentals are exempt from these zoning restrictions.

Short Term Rental Licensing Requirement in Kansas City

As of May 2023, Kansas City has implemented restrictions on non-resident short term rentals in residential-zoned areas. While existing non-resident rentals are allowed to continue in these districts, new non-resident rentals are not permitted. Owner-occupied short term rentals are not subject to the same zoning limitations.

Required Documents for Kansas City Short Term Rentals

To register a short term rental in Kansas City, property owners must furnish proof of possession, proof of primary residence, and complete the registration process with QuickTax. Non-resident owners have additional requirements, including providing notice of active accounts for the property and management control and responsibility affidavits.

Kansas City Short Term Rental Taxes

Effective June 15, 2023, short term rental operators in Kansas City are mandated to register annually with the city and pay a registration fee of $200, with incremental increases based on the consumer price index. Operators must also provide personal contact information to the city and maintain records of complaints and transaction details.

Additionally, Kansas City residents voted to impose a new tax on short term rentals and raise the nightly lodging and tourism fee from $1.50 per bedroom to $3.

Kansas City Wide Short Term Rental Rules

Kansas City's regulations for short term rentals encompass various aspects, including limiting the number of rentals in certain buildings, establishing a public registry, and outlining penalties for violations. The city has the authority to revoke short term rental registration for a year for a single code violation and up to three years for properties with multiple violations deemed hazardous to public health and safety.

Violators may face fines of up to $1,000 per instance, with each day constituting a new violation.

Does Kansas City Strictly Enforce STR Rules?

Kansas City has taken proactive measures to strengthen regulations governing short term rentals, aiming to address concerns about their proliferation in residential areas and enhance accountability among owners. Recent ordinances have introduced a flat fee for registration and restrictions on new rental units in the city.

While some residents and hosts have expressed reservations about the new regulations, citing potential impacts on businesses and tourism, the city's efforts reflect a commitment to balancing the interests of hosts, guests, and communities.

How to Start a Short Term Rental Business in Kansas City

  • Verify property eligibility for short term rentals.
  • Gather required documents, including proof of possession and primary residence.
  • Register with QuickTax and the Neighborhood Services Department.
  • Pay the annual registration fee and provide contact information.
  • Maintain detailed records of transactions and complaints.
  • Ensure compliance with zoning regulations and obtain necessary permits.
  • Adhere to local regulations on noise, occupancy, and property maintenance.
  • Consider liability insurance for protection.
  • Stay informed about changes in regulations and taxes.

Who to Contact in Kansas City about Short Term Rental Regulations and Zoning

For inquiries regarding short term rental regulations and zoning in Kansas City, reach out to the Neighborhood Services Department at (816) 513-1500 or email neighborhoods@kcmo.org for guidance and assistance.

What Do Airbnb Hosts in Kansas City on Reddit and Bigger Pockets Think about Local Regulations?

Airbnb hosts in Kansas City have shared diverse perspectives on the city's new regulations. While some have expressed concerns about the impact on their businesses and the perceived restrictions on short term rentals in residential areas, others have voiced support for the regulations, emphasizing the importance of responsible usage and community well-being.

Some hosts on Reddit have expressed frustration with the new regulations, arguing that they are too restrictive and could negatively impact the city's tourism industry. One user wrote, "I think it's a mistake to limit non-resident rentals in residential areas. It will hurt the city's economy and limit the options for travelers."

However, other hosts have expressed support for the regulations, highlighting the need for responsible usage and consideration for neighbors. One user on Reddit wrote, "I understand why some hosts are upset, but I think these regulations are necessary to ensure that short term rentals are being used responsibly and not causing problems in residential neighborhoods."

On Bigger Pockets, hosts have also shared their thoughts on the new regulations. One user wrote, "I think the new regulations are a good thing. They will help ensure that short term rentals are being used responsibly and not causing issues in the community."

Another user on Bigger Pockets expressed concerns about the impact on their business, stating, "I don't think it's fair that the city is making it harder for hosts to operate their businesses. These regulations could have a significant impact on my income."

Despite the varying opinions, it is clear that the new regulations have sparked a conversation among Airbnb hosts in Kansas City. It is essential for hosts to stay informed about the regulations and their implications to ensure compliance and continue operating their businesses successfully.

Reveal your property’s rental profitability

Buy this property and list it on Airbnb.