St. Louis, Missouri, passes first-ever STR law
- Dec 5, 2023 | Jennifer Sokolowsky
Short-term rental (STR) operators in St. Louis, Missouri, will face new regulations under a city ordinance signed by Mayor Tishaura O. Jones on November 6. The law will go into effect no later than November 6, 2024.
Previously, short-term rentals weren’t regulated in St. Louis. The city began discussing STR rules in 2018, and the new ordinance took six months to take shape. More than 1,300 St. Louis short-term rental properties are listed in STR marketplaces.
“Short-term rentals are welcome in the City of St. Louis, but the lack of regulation has created serious safety concerns within our neighborhoods,” Jones said in a statement. Several shootings have occurred at St. Louis STR properties over the past few years.
Under the new measure, short-term rentals are defined as residential occupancy of a rented dwelling for a term of 30 days or less. STR hosts must have a city-issued permit for each property they operate, with a maximum of four permits per person. Operators must pay a $150 fee to apply, and permits may only be issued to a person, not an LLC.
Short-term rental marketplaces, such as Airbnb and Vrbo, are prohibited from completing bookings for properties without permit numbers. Marketplaces must also delist properties that have had their permits revoked.
STR owners in areas zoned for single-family residential use will be required to go through public conditional use hearings to apply for a permit. Properties that have received tax-increment financing for improvements are ineligible to operate as short-term rentals. The law also limits the percentage of units within a multi-unit building that can operate as STRs.
The law requires a minimum stay of two nights — a measure designed to reduce the number of parties held at STR properties. STR operators must also designate an agent who can respond to any issues in person within an hour, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
When the city starts enforcing the law, it will post all short-term rental addresses on a city website and keep track of STR violations and legal infractions. Owners who receive three violation notices within 24 months may be fined and have their permit revoked for up to a year.
St. Louis short-term rentals are also subject to state sales and lodging taxes and the city’s hotel-motel room tax. STR hosts are required to collect the taxes from their guests and remit them to the proper tax authorities. While Airbnb collects state and local taxes for its St. Louis listings, Vrbo does not. Operators are responsible for collecting and remitting taxes that aren’t collected for them.
Avalara MyLodgeTax can help short-term rental hosts automate and simplify lodging tax compliance at the local and state levels, including tax registration and filing. For more on short-term rental lodging tax in Missouri, see our state vacation rental tax guide. If you have tax questions related to vacation rental properties, drop us a line and we’ll get back to you with answers.