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Wichita Short Term Rental Regulation: A Guide For Airbnb Hosts

Wichita, Kansas

What are short term rental (Airbnb, VRBO) regulations in Wichita,Kansas?

The short-term rental regulations in Wichita, Kansas, are designed to maintain neighborhood harmony and ensure guest safety. These regulations involve municipal oversight to govern short-term rentals effectively. Operators are required to obtain a license for each property intended for rental, submit a detailed application, pay an annual fee of $225, and secure liability insurance. The regulations also specify occupancy limits, allowing a maximum of two adults per bedroom with no set limit on the number of children staying overnight124.

The city of Wichita has been considering significant changes for local Airbnb and short-term rental owners following incidents like a deadly shooting in 2021. Proposed ordinances aim to address zoning and licensing rules for short-term rentals, with a focus on compliance with the current code and zoning requirements.

The proposed changes would allow property owners 12 months to get into compliance and involve a process where neighbors can protest a property becoming a short-term rental. Licensing fees are set at $225 per unit per year, and the proposed ordinance includes a suspension of up to five years for violations34.

In summary, Wichita's short-term rental regulations focus on licensing, occupancy limits, zoning compliance, and safety measures to ensure a harmonious coexistence between short-term rental operators and the local community.

Starting a Short Term Rental Business in Wichita

To start a short-term rental business in Wichita, Kansas, individuals must adhere to specific regulations proposed by the city. The proposed licensing program for short-term rentals would require units to renew their license annually, maintain $250,000 of insurance, adhere to a "good-neighbor" policy, limit gatherings to 10 p.m., have an operator available 24/7, and permit city inspections.

The program aims to prevent violators from operating short-term rentals and includes fines of up to $500 per day, restitution, and potential jail time for non-compliance. While the program is still a work in progress and not a formal proposal yet, it reflects the city's efforts to regulate the short-term rental market and address concerns raised by residents1.

Additionally, the proposed ordinance in Wichita includes changes to zoning and licensing rules for short-term rentals, allowing property owners 12 months to comply with the new regulations. The ordinance would establish a process where neighbors can protest a property becoming a short-term rental, with potential suspension of up to five years for violations. The licensing fee is set at $225 per unit per year, and the ordinance aims to balance the growth of short-term rentals with neighborhood concerns and safety considerations3.

Required Documents for Wichita Short Term Rentals

In Wichita, Kansas, short-term rental regulations require property owners to obtain an annual license, which expires one year after the date of issuance and is not transferable. The license must be acquired from the City's Express Office in the Finance Department. If the short-term rental is owner-occupied, it must be licensed by March 12, 2024, while if it requires additional zoning approval, it must be licensed by September 12, 2024. To operate legally, property owners must comply with the Unified Zoning Code and obtain an annual license for each dwelling unit that they operate as a short-term rental.

The following documents and permits are necessary for short-term rentals in Wichita:

  • Administrative Permit: Property owners can apply for an Administrative Permit through the Planning Department.
  • Annual License: A Short-Term Rental License is mandatory for all short-term rental owners and must be acquired from the City’s Express Office in the Finance Department.
  • Zoning Approval (if required): In some cases, if the short-term rental requires additional zoning approval, property owners must ensure that they obtain the necessary zoning clearance to operate their rental property.

These documents and permits are essential for ensuring compliance with local regulations and avoiding any legal issues. It is crucial for property owners to carefully review the specific requirements and ensure that all the essential documents and permits are obtained.
Wichita Short Term Rental Taxes

In addition to licensing requirements, short-term rental operators in Wichita may be subject to local taxes related to their rental income. Understanding and fulfilling tax obligations is vital for operators to maintain compliance with local regulations and avoid any potential penalties or fines.

Wichita-wide Short Term Rental Rules

Wichita has implemented city-wide rules to govern short-term rentals effectively. These rules encompass various aspects, including occupancy limits, gathering sizes, and licensing requirements, all aimed at addressing concerns related to neighborhood disturbances, safety, and zoning compliance. By adhering to these rules, operators can contribute to a harmonious coexistence with the local community.

Does Wichita Strictly Enforce STR Rules? Is Wichita Airbnb Friendly?

The enforcement of short-term rental rules in Wichita can vary, with the city taking steps to regulate the market and ensure compliance with zoning codes. While some hosts may operate in Wichita despite the regulations, the city is actively working to align short-term rentals with local policies to address concerns raised by residents and neighborhood associations.

Wichita's approach to Airbnb and similar platforms reflects a balance between fostering tourism and maintaining the integrity of residential neighborhoods.

How to Start a Short Term Rental Business in Wichita

For those looking to start a short-term rental business in Wichita, here are the steps to follow:

  • Research Wichita's short-term rental regulations: Familiarize yourself with the city's rules and requirements for short-term rentals, including licensing, insurance, occupancy limits, and zoning regulations.
  • Choose a property: Identify a suitable property that meets the city's requirements for short-term rentals. Consider factors such as location, size, and amenities when selecting a property.
  • Obtain the necessary licenses and permits: Submit a complete license application, pay the annual fee, and secure liability insurance to operate legally within the city.
  • Ensure compliance with occupancy limits and zoning requirements: Adhere to the city's occupancy limits and verify that the property is located in a zone that permits short-term rentals.
  • Prepare the property for guests: Furnish and equip the property to meet guests' needs and expectations, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable stay.
  • List the property on short-term rental platforms: Advertise your rental on platforms like Airbnb and VRBO, ensuring that you include the required license number in your listing to comply with city regulations.
  • Provide clear communication and excellent customer service: Respond promptly to inquiries, address any concerns, and maintain a positive relationship with guests to ensure a successful rental experience.
  • Maintain accurate records: Keep detailed records of your rental income, expenses, and guest information to facilitate tax reporting and compliance.

Who to Contact in Wichita about Short Term Rental Regulations and Zoning?

For inquiries regarding short-term rental regulations and zoning in Wichita, individuals can reach out to the Wichita-Sedgwick County Metropolitan Area Planning Department. They can provide guidance, answer questions, and assist operators in navigating the regulatory landscape effectively.

What do Airbnb Hosts in Wichita on Reddit and Bigger Pockets Think about Local Regulations?

The regulations for short-term rentals in Wichita, Kansas, are designed to ensure the safety and well-being of guests while maintaining the harmony of residential neighborhoods. The proposed ordinance for short-term rentals includes a suspension of up to five years if a rental is found to be in violation of the code, and it allows property owners 12 months to get into compliance.

Hosts are required to obtain a permit and pay applicable fees for their short-term rentals, and the city's Code Enforcement Division oversees the regulations.Despite some concerns raised by residents about the potential increase in the number of rentals and the impact on established homeowners associations, the regulations in Wichita are not overly strict.

However, hosts must obtain a permit and comply with minimum health standards to ensure a successful and sustainable short-term rental business.

To start a short-term rental business in Wichita, individuals should stay updated on the developments regarding the proposed licensing program, ensure compliance with lodging establishment regulations, and consider engaging professional management services to support their endeavors.

Seeking guidance from vacation rental and Airbnb management services in Wichita Falls, which offer full-service solutions, can be beneficial for individuals looking to navigate the regulatory landscape and manage their properties effectively.

Reveal your property’s rental profitability

Buy this property and list it on Airbnb.