Short Term Rental Information
Metro Council has directed Planning & Design Services (PDS) and the Planning Commission to carry out a review of the local ordinances concerning short term rentals (STRs) and recommend improvements. The recommended improvements address community feedback received since the 2019 update and issues encountered by staff in administering the regulations.
What is a Short Term Rental or STR?
In Louisville Metro, a STR is defined as a dwelling, such as a residence or apartment, that is rented or leased to a tenant or guest for less than 30 consecutive days.
How Can I See if a STR is Registered?
There is an interactive map on LOJIC that allows you to determine if a STR is properly registered and obtain host information.
About the Ordinances
In 2015, Louisville Metro Council passed an initial ordinance to regulate the use of STRs (affecting listings offered on Airbnb, VRBO, and other platforms). City leaders have been monitoring the effectiveness of the ordinance and the evolution of the shared rental economy, resulting in several amendments to the regulations since 2015. The rules pertaining to host responsibilities and annual registration can be found in Louisville Metro Code of Ordinances and the regulations pertaining to zoning can be found in the Land Development Code.
A few things to know:
- STR hosts must annually register each of their STRs with the Office of Planning & Design Services (PDS).
- STR hosts must also register with the Louisville Metro Revenue Commission and are responsible to pay the Bed Tax and Occupational Tax.
- STR regulations do not supersede lease agreements, homeowner's association bylaws, covenants, deed restrictions, or any other agreement, law or regulation that prohibits subletting or use of a dwelling as a STR (however Metro Government does not enforce such agreements unless party thereto).
- Failure to register a STR will result in enforcement action, including fines.
- Advertising a short term rental that is not registered is prohibited (including listing on Airbnb, VRBO, or another platform) and will result in enforcement action, including fines.
- A Conditional Use Permit (CUP) may be required, dependent on the zoning of the property and the residency of the STR Host. CUP applications are approved or denied by a public board of citizens upon following a public hearing. The application must meet certain criteria, including the STR must be at least 600 feet from another STR that received a CUP.
- The rules vary in some cities in Jefferson County that have zoning authority. Anchorage, Douglass Hills, Graymoor-Devondale, Hurstbourne, Indian Hills, Jeffersontown, Prospect, Shively, and St. Regis Park have not adopted any STR regulations in their Land Development Codes and STRs are thereby not permitted. Lyndon, Middletown, and St. Matthews have adopted STR regulations in their Land Development Codes that are different from that adopted for Louisville Metro.
In general, the following applies in Louisville Metro. Please reference the ordinances for more and complete information - Short Term Rental Ordinances. Rules may vary in some cities in Jefferson County.
- If the STR is your primary residence and the property is zoned residential, you are likely allowed to operate a STR with only an annual registration, which is approved administratively. You will be required to submit documentation supporting your residency.
- If the STR is your primary residence and the property is in the Old Louisville or Limerick neighborhood, you are only allowed to operate a STR with an approved Conditional Use Permit AND an annual registration.
- If the STR is not your primary residence and the property is zoned residential, you are only allowed to operate a STR with an approved Conditional Use Permit AND an annual registration.
- If the property is zoned non-residential, you are likely allowed to operate a STR with only an annual registration, which is approved administratively.
- If the property is zoned industrial or within a planned development district, a STR is likely prohibited.
Where is it Legal to Host?
There is an interactive map on LOJIC that allows you to determine if a property is eligible to receive a Conditional Use Permit and/or registration and, if allowed, what process you need to follow.
How Do I Register a STR?
If you only need a STR registration:
- Register with Revenue Commission to get a Tax Reporting Number.
- A STR Host only needs to do this once with multiple rentals if reported under the same number.
- Submit a STR registration form for each property with PDS:
- Each form requires a $100 application fee to be complete.
- Each form requiring primary residency needs at least two documents supporting residency (i.e. drivers license, voter registration card, tax records, etc.) to be complete.
- Incomplete forms will not be accepted or processed.
- While Metro will attempt to send reminders, it is the responsibility of the STR Host to know when to renew. Failure to renew can result in penalties or loss of approvals.
If you need a Conditional Use Permit or CUP:
- Submit a pre-application for the permit, which involves a conference with staff and a neighborhood meeting. If you want to proceed after the initial feedback from staff and neighbors, submit a formal application for the permit.
- An application is limited to a single property.
- Each pre-application requires a $150 application fee and each formal application requires a $560 application fee.
- The process typically take 6 months to complete (may be completed in shorter or longer timeframes depending on circumstances and docket availability).
- A public hearing by the Board of Zoning Adjustment, or the Planning Commission if attached to a rezoning request, is required as part of the formal application process.
- If the permit is approved, the STR must be registered with the Revenue Commission and PDS within 30 days of CUP approval (see above).
Are there Penalties for not Getting Approvals?
Yes, failure to register a STR can result in enforcement action:
- First offense - $125 fine
- Second offense - $250 fine
- Third offense - $500 fine
- Fourth+ offense - $1,000 fine
- Each day may be considered a separate offense
- Advertising a STR on a platform without a registration can result in additional fines of $125 per day
How Do I Report an Illegal STR?
If you believe someone is using a property as a STR, but it does not show up on the registry or they are using it improperly (need a CUP, but do not have one), please report the potential violation.
- Call 311 (have address of illegal STR and other potential evidence ready)
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Smoke Detector Requirements (Title IX, Chapter 94.02)
- Map of Metro Council Zoning Authority Area
- Louisville Metro Revenue Commission
- Louisville Metro Revenue Commission transient taxes FAQs
- Open Data - Short Term Rental Information