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When deciding whether to become an Airbnb host, it's important for you to understand the laws in your city. As a platform and marketplace, we do not provide legal advice, but we want to give you some useful links that may help you better understand laws and regulations in Louisville. This list is not exhaustive, but it should give you a good start in understanding your local laws. If you have questions, contact the Planning and Design Department or other city agencies directly, or consult a local lawyer or tax professional.
Anyone who hosts short-term stays (less than 30 nights at a time) in Louisville needs to register with the city. Please review the Louisville Short-Term Rental ordinance for additional information. The registration process consists of three main steps, outlined below.
Step 1: Check your eligibility
Listings that host long-term stays only (30+ nights at a time) aren’t required to register with the city. If you’d like to try this option, you can switch to long-term stays by updating your availability settings.
Step 2: Get a tax reporting number
You can apply for a tax reporting number on the City Revenue Commission’s website. Once you submit your online application, you should receive a certificate with your tax reporting number within a week. You’ll need this number for the next step.
Step 3: Get a registration number
You can apply for a short-term rental registration number on the city’s website, in person, or by mailing your application to the Louisville Planning and Design Department (444 South 5th Street, Suite 300, Louisville, KY 40202). The application fee is $100.
You’ll need to include your zoning number in your application–you can find it here. Depending on how your listing is zoned, you may also need a Conditional Use Permit from the Louisville Metro Board of Zoning Adjustment.
Additionally, you will be required to upload two documents to verify your residence. You can choose between a few options:
- Driver’s license or state-issued identification
- Voter registration
- Utility bill
- Motor vehicle registration
- Federal or state tax returns
If you’re registering a secondary residence, like a vacation home or second home, you’ll also need to apply for a Conditional Use Permit.
Land Development Code
The Land Development Code regulates uses in Louisville. You should consult the code to see if your listing is consistent with zoning requirements or use definitions. Important terms include short-term rental; accessory use; apartment hotel; bed and breakfast inn; boarding and lodging house; commercial use; dwelling; dwelling unit; extended stay lodging; hotel; nonresidential use; principal use; and residential use.
Building and housing standards
Louisville enforces rules and regulations specifying minimum construction, design, and maintenance standards for buildings, including regulations on habitability, health, and safety. Certain rules and regulations applicable to residential and non-residential uses may be relevant to your listing. Please review Chapters 150 and 156 of the Louisville Metro Code or contact the Department of Codes and Regulations for more information.
Business license and tax
In the Louisville Metro area, owners or operators of most businesses are required to apply for and receive a business license (called an occupational license) and to pay an annual tax. Please review Chapter 110 of the Louisville Metro Code or contact the Revenue Commission Department to obtain details on business licenses and tax requirements specific (or applicable) to you.
The State of Kentucky and Louisville-Jefferson County both assess a transient room tax on hotels, inns, vacation homes or houses, and other short-term rentals. A “short-term rental” is defined as a lodging facility which is rented out for less than 30 days. More information about the transient room tax is available on Kentucky's Department of Revenue page and in Louisville-Jefferson County tax code, Chapter 121.
It's also important to understand and abide by other contracts or rules that bind you, such as leases, condo board or co-op rules, HOA rules, or rules established by tenant organizations. Please read your lease agreement and check with your landlord if applicable.
Our commitment to your community
We are committed to working with local officials to help them understand how Airbnb benefits our community. Where needed, we will continue to advocate for changes that will allow regular people to rent out their own homes.