city license required for rental property

7 Replies

Any others have rental properties in cities that require you to have your rentals licensed by the city? If so how has it went for you dealing with the required inspection and dealing with your cities laws and standards they require?The city i own rental property in now requires all rentals to be licensed. We just received the city inspection packet with the application and requirements for inspection. I'm dreading this upcoming process after reading the requirements (the list is long), fees and the fact that the city inspector has a right to enter the property at anytime!

Wow! That's a little crazy.

In Austin we have to be permitted for short term rentals, but our process is a lot easier. There is a fee, but my understanding is that the Certificate of Occupancy is the only other requirement.


I live in Austin which does have the short term rental registration that Lynn refers to. I don't have any properties here that fall into that category. However, I do have a property out of state that the town requires all rentals to be registered. They inspect every 2 years and charge $200. Along with meeting all building code, they require a water test and they require the septic be pumped every 4 years. It was initially every 2 but they realized that wasn't necessary. When they first implemented it I had to draw up a parking plan. Which is kind of ridiculous because it's a single family house with a 100 foot long driveway, so plenty of off street parking. I think you should expect a bit of extra hassle, and some of the items may not make total sense. I know I was somewhat frustrated the first time going through it, but every time since then it has been pretty simple.

When it comes to the actual inspection, I think often times it comes down to the person doing the inspection. As with many things being nice to them can go a long way. I think it's also important to show you're not a slumlord and you're trying to make this a safe place for somebody to call home.

Keeping the goal of these programs in mind can be helpful. It was started in my town because landlords were not keeping their properties up to code and the town felt like they needed to intervene for the safety of the tenants. I've been into some of the properties that the new regulations were created to make safer, and my property is NO WHERE close to the condition they are in. So, if your property is in good condition and you provide a safe place for your tenants to live, the city will hopefully only ask minor things of you.

I also have another property that is section 8 and I would say that the process isn't much different. Expect to have to fix a couple things.

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I personally haven't run into any fees or applications, or inspections except from county or federal funding agencies with vouchered tenants...but I have had a "registration" required in Dayton, OH. I'm glad you brought this to our attention...we will need to account for those costs if we run into these on our future investments. Thanks for the info. 

It's just another tax, if a city charges me a fee to rent, there are plenty of other cities near by that will not and that is where I will invest.

In Southampton NY on Long Island there is a $200 fee that must be paid every 2 years and the town restricts length of lease and occupancy . Vacation rentals must be for 15 days or more .

In  Dayton Oh, there is a rental registration required.