A picture of the mountains in Montana with the sunset.

Current Airbnb Laws and Regulations in Montana- What Hosts Need to Know in Big Sky Country

A recent bill by the Montana State Legislature has placed key Airbnb laws in place, allowing individual counties to make laws that best fit their circumstances. Several municipalities have taken advantage of these new guidelines and passed additional regulations for their own cities. Popular tourist destinations like Bozeman now require short-term rentals to register with the city as well as the state. 

A picture of the mountains in Montana with the sunset.

Airbnb Laws on a State Level in Montana

The Montana State legislator has codified requirements for short-term rentals as part if the new wave of Airbnb Laws in the Big Sky State. The law provides provisions for county and city governments to create and maintain laws regarding short-term rentals, as well as requires hosts to register short-term rentals with the state for tax purposes. This comes after a significant increase in the number of short-term rentals post-pandemic.  

In order for a short-term rental to operate, an owner must follow the following requirements: 

  • Short-term rental hosts are required to register with the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services for a Public Accommodation License. This is in addition to any permits that a county may require 
  • All hosts must provide access to potable water, wastewater disposal, hygienic amenities—showers, laundry, etc—and maintain high standards of cleanliness and maintenance.  
  • A guest registry must be kept and maintained for at least a year after a guest’s stay.  
  • Short-term rentals are also required to pay the two lodging taxes to the state, as well as any local taxes.   

Cities within Montana, such as Bozeman, already enforce short-term rental regulations including a registration process (Short-Term Rental Registration Portal & Instructions in Bozeman). The City understands Airbnb is a business and requires hosts to undergo a similar process to other local businesses – identify the business type, apply for the appropriate license, and under inspections.  

Bozeman, Montana

Bozeman Votes to Ban Short-term Rentals

Due to the city’s housing crisis, it voted to ban short-term rentals except for grandfathered-in properties and others. Type 3 rentals – properties where the homeowner lives off-site are no longer permitted. However, due to the “grandfather clause”, over a hundred of the type 3 properties will continue to operate. The city also decided to restrict type 2 rentals – which are units where the owner lives on-site but is not present during the rental period. Type 1 properties are allowed everywhere in Gallatin County. To learn more and stay updated visit Bozeman Cities webiste.

What hosts will need to apply: 

  • Contact Information: Property owner and property managers contact information 
  • Emergency contact information 
  • Rental Property Address 
  • Property Parcel Number 
  • Type of STR being registered – for FULL definitions see Section 38.360.250.D. of the municipal code
    • Type 1 (Owner occupied primary residence, owner present during rental period) 
    • Type 2 (Owner occupied primary residence, duplex or ADU – owner not present during rental period) 
    • Type 3 (Entire home, not Owner occupied primary residence) These are restricted from residential districts.
  • Zoning district – Short-term rentals are only allowed in some zoning districts. The allowed districts are shown below. Type I STR are allowed in all districts, Type 2 are allowed in all but RS and R1, and Type 3 are not allowed in residential districts. 
  • Sketch Plan of Property: This is a scaled drawing of the property showing the lot boundaries, building location, and number of parking stalls.
  • Number of bedrooms
  • Number of parking spaces : These can include spaces within a garage only if the guests will have access to the garage during their stay. 
  • Maximum number of guests : Not more than two guests per sleeping area are allowed. 
  • Lodging Tax (Bed Tax) ID number: The Tax ID number is issued by the Montana Department of Revenue 
  • Fire Inspection
  • Accommodations License: Issued by the Montana Department of Health and Human Services 
  • Notice to Adjoining Residences - For those registering a Type 2 STR in a residential zoning district; hosts will need to have previously given notice of the intent to register to all adjacent properties.  
  • Registration Fee - An annual registration fee of $250 is required. 

Verify Your Short-Term Vacation Rental Insurance Today

Interested in a policy to protect you and your business from liability and damage claims? Proper Insurance is the nation’s leading short-term rental insurance provider protecting homes in all 50 states, replacing inadequate Homeowners/Landlord policies. Their comprehensive coverage meets or exceeds standard short-term rental requirements with $1M Commercial Liability (CGL) and unmatched protection for your property and revenue. Additional custom coverages include guest-caused theft/damage, amenity liability (bikes, kayaks, hot tub, etc.), bed bugs, fleas, squatters, and more.

Please note: The information provided is intended as a guide and may not be comprehensive or current. Regulations may change and could vary by area or situation. Always consult local authorities or a legal professional to ensure you have the most accurate information for your short-term rental property.