State of Mississippi 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 05, 2023

Overview of Mississippi 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.

Known for its music, food, and rich history, Mississippi attracts visitors looking to experience its singular Southern charm. Renting out your property in the Magnolia State as a short-term rental allows you to unlock its income potential when not occupied. However, Mississippi's mosaic of hyper-local ordinances governing short-term rentals requires diligent research. This guide covers key regulations, licensing, taxes, safety codes, penalties, and tips for successfully launching compliant Airbnb rentals in Mississippi.

Defining Short Term Rentals in Mississippi

Let's break down what's considered a short-term rental in the state:

Rental Period Length

While Mississippi lacks a standard statewide rental period, popular tourist destinations define short-term rentals as:

  • Gulfport: 14 consecutive days max
  • Biloxi: Less than 30 consecutive days  
  • Oxford: Fewer than 30 continuous days
  • Jackson: Less than 30 days

Some cities impose tighter limits, so verify local ordinances. 

Types of Rentals

Short-term rentals in Mississippi include:

  • Houses, condos, apartments, cabins
  • Private or shared rooms 
  • Corporate housing units
  • Recreational vehicles, campers, RVs

Regulations often differ for owner-occupied versus non-owner-occupied properties.

Geographic Oversight

Several cities like Gulfport enact their own vacation rental rules, while unincorporated areas fall under county-level oversight. Research both hyper-local and state requirements.

Starting a Short-Term Rental Business in Mississippi

Follow these steps to launch your Mississippi short-term rental business successfully:

Registration and Licensing

No state registration or license is required, but many cities and counties mandate hosts obtain business permits/licenses to operate legally. Fees, criteria, and renewal timelines vary based on jurisdiction.

Application Process

Local licensing procedures often involve:

  • Submitting property details, emergency contacts
  • Paying permit/license fees (often $25-$500+) 
  • Providing floor plans, maps, photos
  • Attesting safety standards will be met
  • Furnishing proof of insurance

Licenses typically may require renewal every 1-2 years.

Getting Started Tips

In addition to licensing, successful hosts should:

  • Vet potential property management partners
  • Create responsive booking systems
  • Use professional photography and descriptions
  • Implement meticulous cleaning plans  
  • Master prompt communication and inquiries
  • Provide local recommendations to enhance guest experiences
  • Maintain detailed records for taxes

Housing Rules and Requirements

Mississippi short-term rentals must comply with various safety regulations and occupancy limits.

Safety Regulations

Typical requirements include:

  • Smoke detectors in each bedroom and common area
  • Fire extinguishers on every floor
  • Carbon monoxide detectors, if gas appliances exist  
  • Compliance with all building, electrical, and plumbing codes
  • Adequate emergency egress and exits  
  • Visible exterior house numbers

Occupancy Limits

Local city and county ordinances restrict maximum occupancy for short-term rentals based on factors like:

  • Number of bedrooms/bathrooms
  • Room dimensions and sizes
  • Available on-site parking
  • Septic system capacity, if applicable

Adhere strictly to established occupancy limits.


Some jurisdictions require initial short-term rental housing inspections plus recurring re-inspections for licensing. Grant inspectors prompt access to avoid penalties.

Insurance Requirements

Standard homeowners or renters insurance policies typically exclude short-term rental use in Mississippi. Work with an insurance agent or broker to obtain specialty short-term rental insurance to properly cover your rental business. This should include:

  • Minimum $500,000 liability coverage to protect against guest claims of injury or property damage
  • "Host protection coverage" in case guests damage your property or amenities
  • Coverage for lost rental income if bookings are disrupted
  • Protection against theft of personal property by guests
  • Flood, hurricane, wind, and storm damage coverage, if applicable, for the area
  • Business interruption coverage in case a covered loss shuts down rentals

100% replacement cost coverage is recommended in higher-risk areas like coastal regions. Consult an insurance professional to ensure adequate protection based on your specific rental property and situation.

Taxes on Short Term Rentals

As a Mississippi host, you must pay all applicable state and local lodging taxes.

State Taxes

Mississippi imposes a 7% sales tax on room rentals for less than 30 days. This applies to short-term rental incomes.

An additional 2% state tourism tax also applies to eligible rentals.

Local Lodging Taxes

Several popular Mississippi tourism destinations levy local lodging or accommodation taxes between 1-5% on short-term rentals:

Verify specific local tax rates based on the rental location.

Reporting and Remittance

You must register for a sales tax ID number with the Mississippi Department of Revenue to report and remit taxes. Sales tax collections must be filed and paid monthly, while hotel/motel taxes can be remitted quarterly. Returns can be submitted online through the Department's TAP system by the 20th of the following month. Maintain detailed records and comply with all deadlines.

Penalties for Non-Compliance

The MS Department of Revenue imposes financial penalties for unfiled, late, or inaccurate tax payments:

  • Failure to file returns results in a 10% penalty
  • Underpayment penalties range from 10-25% based on the degree of underpayment
  • Late payments face a 1% penalty on tax due per month
  • Criminal prosecution is possible for tax evasion of over $500

Carefully meeting deadlines and keeping meticulous documentation prevents costly penalties. Enlist a tax professional to ensure full compliance.

Bottom Line

Short-term renting your property in Mississippi can be rewarding by thoroughly researching hyper-local rules, obtaining required licensing, providing excellent customer experiences, and carefully meeting tax obligations.

Mississippi 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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