State of Alaska Short-Term Rental Regulations

Short-term rental regulations vary depending on the location and may include zoning laws, occupancy and safety standards, taxation, licensing, and insurance requirements review our guides for more information specific to your city.


Reviewed by Derick Hargrave

Last updated September 03, 2023

Overview of Alaska Short-Term Rental Regulations

Information is maintained by the community to provide helpful insights and links to local regulations, HostScouts does not provide legal or investment advice.

Alaska is a top destination for adventurous travelers looking to experience its natural beauty and wilderness. As interest grows, many property owners consider listing cabins, lodges, and unique rentals on sites like Airbnb and Vrbo. But where do Alaska's short-term rental rules and regulations currently stand?

In this guide, I'll cover everything hosts need to know about launching a compliant short-term rental business across the Last Frontier. My goal is to help you successfully get started while avoiding penalties and headaches. Let's jump right in!

Defining Short Term Rentals in Alaska

Alaska statutes do not provide a specific definition of what constitutes a short-term or vacation rental property. However, some local ordinances have established their own criteria around length of stay.

For example, Anchorage defines short-term rentals as residential properties rented out for less than 30 consecutive days. Juneau uses a threshold of fewer than 90 days for their regulations.

So, while Alaska lacks a statewide standard, cities have created their own definitions within local short-term rental laws. As a host, be sure to check ordinances in your area.

What Qualifies as a Short-Term Rental

Listings offered for periods of less than 30 days would typically fall under short-term rental regulations in many Alaska municipalities. This covers:

  • Entire homes or cabins
  • Apartments
  • Condos
  • Private rooms
  • Spare beds

Under most local laws, properties presented as nightly or weekly vacation rentals would also qualify as short-term rentals.

Navigating State vs Local Rules

Alaska does not currently have comprehensive statewide short-term rental laws. However, cities and boroughs have established local ordinances and regulations that Alaska hosts must follow.

Researching the specific requirements in your jurisdiction before listing a property is critical. In Anchorage, for example, hosts must obtain permits, pay taxes, meet safety standards, and more. Understanding both state statutes and local rules is key.

Starting a Short-Term Rental Business in Alaska

Launching a short-term rental in Alaska involves navigating local requirements around licensing, taxes, zoning, and rental rules. Key steps include:

Obtain Business License

Hosts operating short-term rentals in Alaska must have an Alaska business license. This is required for collecting rental income and engaging in business activity in the state. Licenses cover multiple lines of business.

Acquire Local Permits

Most Alaska municipalities require short-term rental hosts to obtain local permits or licenses to operate legally. For example, Anchorage requires a $150 annual permit. Check your specific area's ordinances.

Register for Tax Collection

Hosts must register with the Department of Revenue to collect and remit required state and local taxes, including bed taxes, sales taxes, and business license taxes imposed on rentals.

Tax Obligations for Alaska Short Term Rentals

Managing taxes is a big responsibility. Here are the key taxes Alaska hosts must charge guests and remit properly:

State Sales Tax

Alaska charges a 1-3% statewide sales tax on short-term rentals. Hosts must collect this on guests' full rental rate, including fees. You are liable for reporting and remitting the taxes collected.

Local Bed Taxes

Alaska cities and boroughs impose 2-12% bed taxes on short-term rentals. For example, Juneau charges 12% while Ketchikan is 2%. You collect and remit alongside state sales tax.

Business License Fees

Most municipalities require hosts to pay an annual business license fee to operate a rental. For instance, Sitka charges $100, while Kodiak is $150 per property. Verify the current rate based on your location.

Safety and Inspection Requirements

To protect guests, Alaska municipalities enforce various short-term rental safety standards and inspection requirements:

Fire Safety

Local fire codes require rentals to have fully operational smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and fire extinguishers. Egress windows and escape routes must be accessible and well-lit. Regular fire inspections also apply.

Health and Sanitation

Properties must meet standards for cleanliness, food safety, drinking water quality, and proper wastewater disposal. Routine health inspections help identify any issues requiring correction.

Buildings and Construction

Short-term rentals must comply with local building, electrical and plumbing codes. Deck railings, staircases, smoke detectors, and more are common inspection points. Periodic checks help keep guests safe.

Alaska Airbnb Regulations by City

Information is maintained by the community to provide helpful insights and links to local regulations, HostScouts does not provide legal or investment advice.

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