Rochester, MN updated short-term rental laws adjusting the registration process for hosts in the city. Requirements vary depending on if the short-term rental is owner-occupied or non-owner-occupied. If the short-term rental is non-owner-occupied, hosts must obtain a license along with a property inspection. Owner-occupied properties aren’t subject to inspections.

The following additional updates go into effect this year

  • The biennial renewal/initial registration fee for rental properties will be $112.00 per structure plus $37.00 per unit for a 2-year rental certificate. 
  • There is a one-time Zoning fee of $40 at the time of a new rental registration. 
  • Structures with five or more beds will be classified by the Department of Health as “lodging” or “hotel” and require a lodging license.

What is a Rental Housing Certificate Under Rochester’s Short-Term Rental Laws?

“In R.C.O Chapter 7-5-1, the Code establishes a requirement for anyone renting a dwelling to another person to obtain a license known as a “rental housing certificate”. A dwelling is considered a rental when someone other than the owner, or their relatives, occupies the dwelling whether money is exchanged or not. This includes single-family homes when the owner doesn’t occupy the home but doesn’t include hotels, motels, rooming houses, nursing homes, and hospitals that are licensed by other agencies. Renting without a certificate is a misdemeanor punishable by up to $1000 fine, 90 days in jail, or both.”

The City has also put into place specific safety requirements for short-term rentals including the following: 

  • Smoke Detectors – Every dwelling unit shall be provided with an approved, UL-listed single station smoke detector, properly mounted on the ceiling or wall outside of the sleeping rooms of the dwelling unit or installed in accordance with the building code in effect when the building was constructed. 
  • Fire Extinguishers – there must be provided and installed in each apartment or dwelling unit in buildings with three or more units at least one portable fire extinguisher complying with the standards prescribed by the state fire code and having a minimum rating of 1-A:10-B:C. 
  • Fire Alarm Systems – Fire alarm systems are required to be installed in newly registered residential apartment buildings with dwelling units on or above the third floor or containing more than 16 dwelling units in accordance with the building and fire code.  

Short-term rental guests expect a safe stay in your home. Here are a few tips for onboarding your home as a short-term rental and preparing for guests

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