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Short Term Rental Application Process

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Applying for a Short Term Rental (STR) Property

1. How do I get approved/ what approvals do I need? 

Each “dwelling unit” (a single-family house, one half of a duplex, or an individual apartment or condominium unit) offered for short term rental requires its own application and approval.

If you are making your first application for the dwelling unit you want to rent, begin by clicking on the “FOR RENT” sign on the right.  The questionnaire will confirm whether or not an STR is permitted on your property, and if so, will direct you to the proper application to file.

If you already have short term rental approval for your dwelling unit and you want to renew your annual registration certificate, see the renewal instructions below.

Short Term Rental Application Process

2. What documents must I provide when I apply?

All applications (registration, administrative approvals and special use permits) are available on the City’s online Compass KC system, and all submittals must be made through that system. 

  • If required to apply for a Type 2 Year Round Administrative Approval you must print and complete and submit the following forms:

1. Neighborhood Notice Type 2 Year Round One and Two Family (i.e. single-family and duplex)
Neighborhood Notice Type 2 Year Round Multi-family (all other types of residential buildings); and

2. Owner Consent Affidavit; and

3. Short Term Rental Mailed Notice Affidavit ; and

4. Adjacent Owner Consent Form and Affidavit

  • If required to apply for Short Term Rental Registration only, you must print and complete the following:

1. Registration Request and Renewal Form; and
2. Owner Consent Affidavit

Note: EVERY short term rental application, whether administrative approval or registration, MUST also be accompanied by proof of a minimum of $300,000 in current liability insurance coverage.

● If required to apply for a Special Use Permit, please contact Development Management staff directly to discuss your application.

3. Renewing Your Registration Certificate

If you have received notice that your current STR registration is expiring and you wish to renew your Short Term Rental Registration certificate, you must print and complete the following:

1. Registration Request and Renewal Form

Go to your existing registration permit on the Compass KC system and attach the new renewal form and updated proof of insurance.

4. Other information

Is the owner of the property an LLC (limited liability company)?

Missouri state law requires that any LLC renting real property that they own within the City of Kansas City, of any type and for any length of time, register with the City Clerk naming an individual responsible for rental activities.  The affidavit may be found at this link on the Clerk’s website.  If an LLC has not registered, they should complete the form and submit it to the Clerk’s office.

This is separate from the STR approval process, but STR applications received for properties owned by unregistered LLCs will be put on hold until the LLC is properly registered.

Am I A Short Term Rental (STR)?

We define a short term rental as the rental of property, a dwelling unit or a portion thereof for a period of less than 30 consecutive days, unless the rental meets the definition of “lodging” or “bed and breakfast”. 

  • Are you renting out a dwelling unit for a lease period of 30 days or more? No you are NOT an STR. You are defined as “household living”, per Section 88-805-02-A of the City’s Development Code. 
  • If you offer accommodations in your dwelling unit to a single party of one person (or two people related by blood or marriage) for a lease period of less than 30 days, AND you as the owner, or a long-term tenant, are present in the dwelling unit during the rental period, you are NOT an STR.  You are defined as “lodging” per Section 88-305-12 of the Development Code.  
  • If you offer accommodations to multiple parties in your dwelling unit for a lease period of less than 30 days, AND you as the owner, or a long-term tenant, are present in the dwelling unit during the rental period, you are NOT an STR.  You are defined as “bed and breakfast” per Section 88-805-04-0 of the Development Code.  Bed and breakfasts have a separate approval process, including a maximum of 8 guest rooms and approval of a special use permit in residential zoning districts.
  • Under certain circumstances, depending on availability of food service, number of rental units per building, zoning of the property, etc., a short term rental business may require approval as a hotel/motel.  This may happen if the requirements of 88-321- Short Term Rental Regulations cannot be met. Significant commercial building code requirements apply to hotel/motel uses.

Short Term Rental Ordinance Background

Short term rentals (STR) offer an alternative to longer-term leasing of residential properties.  The City Council approved Ordinance 170771 and Ordinance 170772 in early 2018 to clarify the guidelines and building code changes for short term rentals. The City spent over three years studying the best ways to balance the rights of property owners to rent out their homes, and the rights of neighbors to preserve and protect the character of their neighborhoods.

Is this the same as an AirBnB? 

Airbnb (and VRBO, Homeaway, and others like it) are individual corporations (“platforms”) that facilitate rentals of properties, generally as an alternative to traditional hotels or motels.  Rental periods can range from one night to multiple months.  The City’s STR definition and processes are limited to rentals for a period of less than 30 days.  The City anticipates approved STRs will advertise on one or more platforms, but not every property offered on those platforms meets the City’s definition of an STR.


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