State of Kansas 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 Kansas 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.

Whether you're a Kansas resident looking to earn extra income or an out-of-state investor exploring a new market, starting a short-term rental business can be exciting and rewarding. However, like any business, it's important to understand the applicable rules and regulations to make sure you operate legally and successfully. This comprehensive guide breaks down everything Kansas hosts need to know about laws, taxes, licensing, housing requirements, and more when hosting short-term rentals.

Defining Short-Term Rentals in Kansas

What's Considered a Short-Term Rental?

In Kansas, there is no standard statewide definition for short-term rentals. Generally, less than 30 consecutive days rentals are considered short-term, but specific regulations depend on local city and county laws. For example, some popular tourist destinations like Lawrence define short-term rentals as less than 28 days. Kansas City, MO, has its own requirements for rentals under 30 days. So be sure to check ordinances in the area where your rental property is located.

Rental Night Limits

Some Kansas municipalities limit the total number of nights a property can be rented out short-term each year. For instance, the city of Wichita restricts short-term rentals to 120 nights per year. Again, look to local laws to see if annual rental limits apply. Tracking your rental nights carefully will help you stay compliant.

State vs. Local Regulations

There are currently no statewide regulations specific to short-term rentals in Kansas. However, various local cities and counties have adopted their own short-term rental rules and permitting requirements. Verifying the ordinances in your jurisdiction is crucial since regulations can vary significantly across the state.

Starting a Vacation Rental Business in Kansas

Launching a successful short-term rental business requires more than just listing your property online. Here are some key steps for hosts to take when getting started:

Licensing and Permits

Many Kansas municipalities require hosts to legally obtain a permit or license to operate a short-term rental. For example, the city of Lawrence requires all hosts to register with the city and get a short-term rental license. Applications typically involve submitting details on the rental property, local contact information, and paying licensing fees.

Research permit requirements in your city or county and plan to apply well in advance before accepting any bookings. Approval can take 30-60 days in some areas. Licenses also need to be renewed annually or biannually.

Applying and Registering

The application process for short-term rental licenses often includes:

  • Providing property details like address, number of bedrooms, maximum occupancy
  • Submitting a detailed site plan and floor drawings
  • Paying licensing fees (e.g. $75-500)
  • Attesting that housing codes and regulations are met
  • Providing 24/7 local emergency contact information
  • Maintaining adequate insurance coverage

Compile all required documentation meticulously and follow up frequently to ensure smooth approval. Some jurisdictions may also require submitting renewals and reports annually. 

Getting Started Tips

Here are a few pro tips for hosts to help launch their Kansas short-term rental business successfully:

  • Research all local regulations thoroughly before listing
  • Build a business plan and budget for expenses like licensing, taxes, cleaning
  • Create house rules and rental contracts to communicate policies
  • Hire a reliable cleaner and handyman for maintenance
  • Stage your home appealingly for guests and photograph it professionally
  • Respond to all booking inquiries promptly to boost bookings

Housing Rules and Requirements

In addition to business permits, Kansas Airbnb rentals must comply with various housing codes and standards to ensure guest safety and well-being.

Safety Regulations

Kansas law mandates basic safety features in short-term rental units, such as:

  • Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Properly maintained fire extinguishers
  • Emergency escape routes, windows, and door signage
  • Adequate lighting in stairwells, hallways, and exterior entries
  • Handrails for any stairs or steps

Ensure all gas, electrical, plumbing, and appliances work well. Conduct thorough safety walkthroughs before each guest's stay.

Occupancy Limits

Comply with maximum occupancy limits set by your local municipality, which are often calculated by the number of bedrooms. Overcrowding raises safety concerns and often violates rental agreements. Enforce your established occupancy policies consistently.

Insurance Requirements

Standard homeowners or renters insurance generally excludes short-term rental use. Work with an insurer to obtain proper home-sharing insurance with sufficient liability coverage in case of guest injuries or property damage. Many cities also require hosts to maintain minimum liability limits.

Signage and Parking

Some jurisdictions limit or prohibit exterior signage for short-term rentals, so discreet lawn plaques instead of large banners may be required. Ensure any on-site parking meets local zoning requirements as well.

Taxes for Short-Term Rentals

Managing taxes is a crucial responsibility for Kansas short-term rental hosts. Stay up to date on all state and local tax obligations.

State Taxes

As a short-term rental host in Kansas, you must charge guests the state sales tax rate for the jurisdiction where the rental is located. This ranges from 6.5% to 11.5%, depending on the city and county.

Kansas also imposes a transient guest tax of 6% on lodging under 28 consecutive days. Collect this tax on each booking and remit to the state.

Local Taxes

In addition to state taxes, many popular tourist destinations in Kansas levy their own local lodging, hotel, or accommodation taxes on short-term rentals. For example, rates are 7% in Lawrence, 8% in Manhattan, and 9% in Kansas City.

Reporting and Remittance

You are responsible for collecting all applicable taxes from guests and regularly reporting and remitting the amounts due to the state and local jurisdictions. This is typically done on a monthly or quarterly basis. Careful record-keeping is key to smooth tax compliance. Consider using accounting software or tools to track taxes.

Penalties for Noncompliance  

Failing to properly collect, report, or remit taxes can lead to audits, interest charges, and stiff financial penalties from tax authorities. In Kansas, civil penalties can be up to $1,000 for each violation.

Final Thoughts

Launching a short-term rental business in Kansas can be rewarding but requires thorough research and preparation. Be sure to consult both state statutes and local ordinances to understand all regulations in your area. With careful planning, savvy marketing, and consistent effort, you can build a successful and compliant Kansas rental that provides excellent guest experiences while achieving your income goals!=

Kansas 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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