State of Idaho 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 04, 2023

Overview of Idaho 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.

From scenic landscapes to vibrant cities like Boise, Idaho attracts visitors looking for unique vacations. As interest in short term rentals grows, hosts need to understand regulations before listing properties. 

In this guide, I'll outline key laws, permit rules, tax obligations and safety standards for Idaho vacation rentals. My goal is to help hosts achieve legal compliance and avoid penalties. Let's get started!

Defining Short Term Rentals in Idaho

Idaho statutes don't provide an explicit definition of short term or vacation rentals. However, they allow cities and counties to regulate these rentals based on length of stay.

For example, Blaine County defines short term rentals as lodging offered for periods less than 30 consecutive days. Other jurisdictions use nightly stays as criteria.

So while a statewide standard doesn't exist, local ordinances establish definitions within their short term rental laws. Check requirements for your specific area.

Common Length of Stay Thresholds

Many Idaho cities define short term rentals as those offered for periods less than 30 days. This typically covers:  

  • Entire homes
  • Condos
  • Apartments
  • Cabins 
  • Private rooms

Listings presented as nightly vacation rentals would also qualify under most local laws. 

Local Ordinances Vary

With no comprehensive statewide legislation, regulations for short term rentals depend on local city and county ordinances in Idaho.

These range from zoning rules to permits, taxes, health standards and more. Researching both state statutes and local laws is key.

Starting a Short Term Rental Business in Idaho

Here are key steps Idaho hosts should know when launching a new short term rental property:

Check Local Zoning

Many Idaho cities restrict short term rentals through zoning regulations. Some prohibit them fully. Others limit them to commercial areas only. Verify zoning allows rentals in your area.

Obtain Permits

Most municipalities require hosts obtain local permits or licenses to legally operate short term rentals. For example, McCall charges $250 annually. Ketchum requires a $100 permit.

Register for Taxes

You'll need to register with the Idaho State Tax Commission to collect and remit applicable state and local taxes on rentals. Handle registration and filing online.

Tax Obligations for Idaho Short Term Rentals

As a host, you must collect and pay all relevant state, county and city taxes. Here's an overview:

State Sales Tax

Idaho levies a 6% sales tax on short term rental transactions. This applies to total rental rates plus any cleaning or service fees paid by guests.

Hosts collect this tax at booking. You must report and pay the state monthly in most cases.

Local Taxes

Some Idaho cities impose additional local taxes on short term rental revenue, such as room taxes.

For example, McCall has a 3% room tax. Ketchum charges a 2% tax. Verify any other taxes that apply in your jurisdiction.

Filing Deadlines

Idaho hosts must file returns and remit all state and local taxes on a monthly basis in most cases. Specific due dates depend on your location. Filings are handled online.

Health and Safety Standards for Idaho Rentals

To protect visiting guests, short term rentals in Idaho must comply with various health, fire and safety regulations:

Fire Safety

State law requires functional fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, escape routes and regular fire code compliance. Rentals are subject to periodic inspections.

Units with hot tubs or pools have additional barriers, lighting and signage requirements. Prioritize safety.

Food Safety

Any food or beverages offered to guests must meet state health codes for proper storage, prep and labeling. Limiting offerings avoids complex compliance.

Building and Health Codes

Short term rentals must adhere to state standards around electrical, plumbing, egress and more. Local health agencies also conduct housing inspections. Fix any identified issues promptly.


While Idaho lacks centralized laws, local ordinances establish key short term rental regulations hosts must follow. By researching rules, obtaining permits, collecting taxes and emphasizing safety, hosts can build successful vacation rental businesses.

Idaho 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.

Check-out some other states in the Northwest Region