Columbus sets up rental licensing system

US: An updated licensing system for short-term rental properties came into effect last Friday, 1st March, in the city of Columbus. 

As a result of the implementation of the licensing system, anyone who is renting out their homes on sites such as Airbnb will now be required to apply for a licence in person at the Department of Public Safety and pay a fee that varies based on residence type. The application fee amounts to $20, the permit cost for a person’s primary residence is $75 per year, and the permit cost for a non-primary residence is $150 per year.

Mayor Andrew Ginther said in a press release: “Short term rentals offer an important service for visitors to Columbus. The licensing allows us to make sure the needs of neighbourhoods, hosts and guests are able to be addressed.”

Columbus City Council approved enhanced regulations on short-term rentals last July, as it sought to establish a system for hosts to register with the city as well as direct tax revenue generated from the rentals to support homeowners and those on the lookout for affordable housing.

Those looking to apply with the Department of Public Safety will have to show proof of their identity, general liability insurance, a copy of the lease agreement for the short-term rental, and confirmation that the host and the rental are in compliance with applicable local, state and federal regulations.

Although the city is encouraging renters to apply for a licence as soon as possible, the city is allowing a one-month grace period before any fines are handed out.

For more information, visit the Columbus government website here.