City Imposes New Rules and Fees for ‘Tourist Homes’
A growing practice in Missoula is for homeowners to offer their properties for short-term rentals, or what the City of Missoula now calls 'Tourist Homes'.
As of November 3, the city has imposed new rules that will allow the rental of homes for up to 30 days at a time, with registration costs and annual fees.
Senior Planner with the city, Tom Zavitz said the new rules were necessary because some complaints had been received by neighbors over parking and other nuisance issues.
"In some places these short term rentals have created some nuisance issues and some affordable housing issues, so our city council wanted to get ahead of the issue here," Zavitz said. "They new that we had a significant number of people that are renting their homes out as vacation rentals, what the state calls 'tourist homes', and to put a program in place to track how many we have and to respond if we have any problems."
Zavitz walks through the process of signing up your 'tourist home'.
"To register their 'tourist home', all it's going to require is your name, the address of the place, and the biggest requirement is that you notify your neighbors that you're doing this," he said. "We ask they they come in with a list of all the neighbors within 150 feet of the property and sign that they've notified them, pay a $50 initial registration fee, and then it's $25 a year after that."
Zavitz said there are further requirements that go beyond the city.
"They're already required to register with the City County Health Department, as well as register with the State Department of Revenue," Zavitz said. "The council didn't want to add too much more to that, but they really want to track what's going on, but the council tried to keep it to a minimum."
Zaviz said the city has a 'three strikes and you're out' policy for those who violate the 'tourist home regulations.
"If you have three complaints about your 'tourist home' property within a 12 month period, you will lose your registration for a year," he said. "These violations would be something serious enough for you to receive a ticket for. It's meant to be a protection against people who aren't managing their property in a residential area responsibly."