KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City is getting down to business. Starting Friday, if you host a short-term rental that isn’t registered with the city, you’ll be in trouble.
That means not being able to advertise online and possibly thousands of dollars in fines.
If you scroll through Airbnb or Vrbo, hundreds of listings pop up for Kansas City, Missouri. However, the question is how many of those will get kicked off the site come Friday morning?
“We’re sending lists of the properties that are not registered to the booking platforms so they can de-list them from their websites,” said Forest Decker who works for the city as the Neighborhood Services Director.
He said at any given time there’s roughly 1,800-2,000 listings. Some of those are seasonal and not currently listed.
Yet, right now, only 30% of those 1,800-2,000 listings are registered with the city, added Decker. He said about half of the 30% registered after a new ordinance took effect June 15, which requires hosts to register their short-term rental with the city and pan an annual $200 fine among other things.
The last three months have been an unofficial grace period, which Decker said was used to work with booking platforms to make sure the city and the sites were good to go at the same time.
Going forward, hosts will have to provide a registration code from the city in order to advertise on sites like Airbnb and Vrbo. If they continue operating with that code, it likely means a hefty fine.
“They can be fined up to $1,000 per instance,” Decker said. “So, for example, if somebody’s renting a place out for five days, [the host] can be fined up to $1,000 for each of those five days.”
It’s a step in the right direction for those who have worked to get this latest ordinance passed. “We have slowly started to see a change for the better, and so we’re optimistic,” said Laura Burkhalter, the Southmoreland Neighborhood Association president.
She lives near the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, which, she said, has seen many homes snapped up by out-of-towners who convert them into short-term rentals.
“It just really degrades the community that we have, and it takes up available housing for people who want to live and work in Kansas City,” she said.
With the clock winding down, Burkhalter said she has already noticed a difference in the last three months, with some former short-term rentals popping back up on the market as long-term rentals.
“Having a full and vibrant neighborhood strengthens our security,” she said.
The city will review the ordinance next spring to see if changes need to be made.
What happens if I booked a non-registered short-term rental?
“If it’s already booked, we’re not going to try to punish visitors by shutting [hosts] down unless [the host] committed some other kind of egregious act,” Decker said.
However, going forward a host cannot advertise or book anything.
What do I do if there’s a non-registered short-term rental currently operating?
Decker said to report any non-registered short-term rental to 311. He added that some neighborhoods are already doing a good job of that.