State of Missouri 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 Karolyn Hutson

Last updated September 18, 2023

Overview of Missouri 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.

Operating a compliant short-term rental in Missouri involves navigating a maze of hyper-local regulations that vary greatly across municipalities. With demand booming in getaways like Branson, Lake of the Ozarks, and Kansas City, many cities are enacting strict ordinances on vacation rentals. This guide provides an in-depth overview of key permitting, tax, zoning, safety, and insurance requirements hosts should know before listing their Missouri property on sites like Airbnb, Vrbo, or Vacasa. We'll focus on major regulations in top tourist locales that short-term rental owners must follow to avoid penalties.

Defining Short-term Rentals in Missouri

Missouri does not have a singular statewide definition of short-term rental properties. However, most local ordinances consider rentals of 30 days or less to be short-term lodging.

What Qualifies as a Short-term Rental in Missouri?

While specific thresholds vary slightly by jurisdiction, rentals of 30 consecutive days or less typically fall under short-term rental regulations across Missouri. Some popular tourist cities use 28 days.

State vs. Local Regulations in Missouri

Aside from taxes, Missouri does not currently have comprehensive statewide statutes governing vacation rentals. Rules related to permitting, zoning, occupancy limits, and more are enacted at the hyper-local city and county levels.

Penalties for Violating Short-term Rental Regulations

Penalties for non-compliance vary across Missouri but often include fines starting at $200-500+ as well as potential misdemeanor charges for repeat violations. Severe or ongoing issues can also result in rental permit revocation.

Starting a Short-term Rental Business in Missouri

Launching a compliant Airbnb rental business in Missouri takes extensive research, planning, and coordination across hyper-local requirements in your city, county, and neighborhood.

Researching Relevant Local Ordinances

With limited statewide statutes in Missouri, short-term rental hosts must thoroughly research the specific local rules and regulations that apply to their property's city, county, and neighborhood. For example, the city of Kansas City requires hosts to obtain a permit, while just across the state line, Kansas City, KS does not require any type of license. Lake Ozark is considering requiring registration, while Osage Beach has no rental regulations. Neighborhoods or subdivisions may have HOA bylaws that restrict rentals. So, hosts must carefully review all hyper-local ordinances plus HOA rules to understand regulations.

Applying for Required Local Permits

Many popular tourist destinations like Branson, Kansas City, Lake Ozark, and others require hosts to obtain a permit before listing their property for short-term rent. Requirements and fees vary greatly.

Registering for Relevant State and Local Taxes

Hosts must collect and remit all applicable state sales, local lodging, and state income taxes. Registration and reporting is mandatory.

Complying with Zoning and HOA Regulations

Ensure your rental property is zoned for commercial lodging use. Also, confirm short-term rentals align with any condo or homeowner's association bylaws that apply to your property before listing it.

Safety and Inspection Requirements for Missouri STRs

To operate legally, short-term rental properties in Missouri must comply with various codes covering safety, sanitation, zoning, and more.

Local Fire Safety and Building Codes

Most jurisdictions require smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, escape routes, proper egress, carbon monoxide detectors, and more to pass inspection and obtain a short-term rental permit.

Health, Sanitation and Trash Regulations

To align with health ordinances, rentals must meet local standards for cleanliness, food safety, septic capacity, drinking water quality, and proper trash disposal.

Swimming Pools, Hot Tubs and Outside Areas

Rentals with pools, hot tubs, and other outside amenities face additional safety rules like fencing, gates, lighting, and signage. Research requirements.

Occupancy Limits and Parking Restrictions

Most jurisdictions restrict the number of guests and vehicles allowed at a rental property. This is based on factors like bedrooms, lot size, and available parking.

Taxes on Short-term Rentals in Missouri

In addition to nightly rental rates, hosts need to factor in taxes when setting pricing. Relevant taxes include:

Missouri State Sales Tax

A 4.225% sales tax applies to short-term lodging statewide. Hosts must collect and remit this tax on all bookings.

Local Lodging Taxes

In addition to the statewide sales tax, some popular Missouri tourist destinations charge their own local taxes on short-term rental transactions. For instance, Kansas City imposes a 7.5% local accommodation tax on all short-term rental bookings on top of state taxes. In Branson, a 7.125% lodging tax applies to vacation rental stays. However, most cities and towns in Missouri currently do not assess any additional local lodging or hospitality taxes.

State and Local Income Taxes

Gross rental revenue is subject to Missouri income tax and may be subject to local income taxes in areas like Kansas City and St. Louis. Report revenue accurately.

Reporting Requirements and Deadlines

Hosts must comply with all reporting deadlines for occupancy, taxes collected, and taxes remitted. Requirements vary locally, ranging from monthly to annual reporting.

Insurance Requirements for Short-term Rentals in Missouri

Properly insuring your Missouri STR involves understanding hyper-local regulations. Here are key insurance considerations for hosts: Review existing homeowner's insurance to confirm coverage for Airbnb rentals. Most standard policies exclude commercial activity. Explore insurance designed specifically for short-term rental properties, including liability, property damage, lost income, and other protections. Research local laws - some cities like Kansas City require hosts to carry commercial liability insurance up to certain limits to obtain a rental permit. Consider risks like guest injuries, discrimination allegations, and property damage that could expose assets without proper insurance. Purchase adequate liability limits to safeguard your rental business and personal assets in case of lawsuits. Work with an insurance agent experienced in the short-term rental market to ensure you have appropriate policies and coverage limits in place. Maintain active insurance policies that meet local requirements to remain compliant and avoid penalties.

Missouri 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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