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Important Updates to Louisville's Short-Term Rental Laws: What Hosts and Owners Need to Know

Updated: Nov 7, 2023

If you're a short-term rental (STR) host or owner in Louisville, Kentucky, there are some significant changes to the city's STR laws that you need to be aware of. The Metro Council has recently passed new regulations that could have an impact on your STR business. In this blog post, we will dive into the key changes and provide you with important information to help you navigate these new regulations.

Key Changes to Louisville's STR Laws

1. Zoning Requirements for STRs

Previously, OR-1 and OR-2 zoned properties could be registered as STRs without permits. However, the new regulations now require permits for these properties. If you are already operating an STR in these zones, you are grandfathered in and can continue without a permit. But if your registration lapses, you will need to obtain a permit before renewing. This change is important to ensure compliance with the updated zoning requirements.

2. Guest Count Limits

Under the new regulations, the maximum guest count for STRs is now capped at 12 people over 16 years old. However, if you need to accommodate a higher occupancy, you can apply for special permission. It's crucial to understand and comply with these guest count limits to avoid any penalties or loss of registration.

3. Complaints and Consequences

Two substantiated complaints within a 12-month period can result in the loss of your STR registration. These complaints can be related to either the operation of your STR or property maintenance. It's crucial to maintain a high standard of service and property upkeep to avoid any issues that may lead to complaints. Regularly reviewing and addressing any concerns or complaints from guests is essential to ensure the longevity of your STR business.

4. Increase in Registration Fee

The annual registration fee for STRs has increased from $100 to $250. It's important to budget for this increase and ensure that you pay the new fee when updating your registration. Remember to mark the renewal date on your calendar as you will not be notified.

5. New Regulations for Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)

ADUs are now allowed under the new regulations, but they come with specific conditions and specifications. As an STR host or owner, it's crucial to familiarize yourself with these requirements if you plan to include ADUs in your rental portfolio. Understanding the rules and regulations surrounding ADUs will help you make informed decisions about your STR business.

6. Positive Benefit of Living on the Parcel

If you live on the parcel with your STR, obtaining a permit for another dwelling unit is now easier. This is particularly beneficial for duplex properties and carriage houses, as they are no longer subject to the 600-foot rule. This change provides an opportunity for expansion and growth within the STR market.

Next Steps for STR Hosts and Owners

1. Property Review and Compliance

Take the time to review your property and ensure that it complies with the new zoning and occupancy rules. This might require some modifications or adjustments to meet the updated regulations. Securing the necessary permits and keeping your property in line with the new laws will help you avoid any potential penalties.

2. Update Your Registration and Pay the Fee

If you haven't already done so, it's crucial to update your registration and pay the new annual fee of $250. Remember, you have 30 days from the expiration date to update, but it's important to mark this date on your calendar as no notifications will be sent out. Keeping your registration up to date will help you operate legally and maintain a successful STR business.

3. Consult Legal Advice

If you have concerns or questions about these new changes, it's advisable to consult a legal advisor who is familiar with STR regulations. They can provide you with expert guidance and ensure that you are fully informed about your rights and obligations as an STR host or owner in Louisville.

4. Stay Informed and Watch for Updates

Finally, stay informed about any further updates or changes to the STR laws in Louisville. These regulations may continue to evolve, and staying up to date will help you adapt your business strategies accordingly.

Navigating the new regulations in Louisville's STR market can be challenging, but staying informed and taking proactive steps will help you comply with the law and maintain a successful STR business. If you have any questions or need further clarification, don't hesitate to reach out. Together, we can overcome these changes and continue to thrive in the STR market.

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