Understanding Ogden City’s Rules For Vacation Rentals
Published On: September 4, 2017 Posted by: Jeremy Peterson
A lot of people have asked me recently about the idea of converting their rental property in Ogden City to vacation rental use. With the proliferation of online venues like AirBNB, it seems that becoming a vacation rental owner is easier than ever. This year was our first time using the service as customers. We stayed at a condo in St. George in June and just about two weeks ago we found an impossibly small Victorian Cottage in Leadville, CO while we hiked Mount Elbert. The service was convenient and affordable.
Interestingly, the vacation rental topic drew up a firestorm of controversy when the policy was being debated earlier this year. One side argued that vacation rentals should be completely unregulated in the city. The other side wanted to banish them entirely. The solution landed in the middle with a modicum of rules to prevent abuse and prevent entire neighborhoods from being converted into hotels.
So, if you are thinking of becoming a vacation rental owner, here are some things to consider.
Yes, you will have to pay taxes. Vacation rentals are charged a “transient room” tax by the state. Plan on forking over at least 10% of your proceeds in taxes.
Ogden requires that you license your vacation rental. You will pay a nominal fee for the license. However, there are some additional requirements to get the license. You need to provide a site plan and layout to show you have sufficient parking for your unit (more about this in a moment), a state issued sales tax license, a declaration of owner-occupancy (or not), and your contact information.
NOTE: When you renew your license, you will need to provide the city with a copy of your transient room tax return and a ledger of your occupancy for the year. It’s good business to keep track of this information anyway, so plan on providing a copy to the city when you renew your license.
A city inspector will want to visit the property in advance to certify it meets city standards. This usually consists of safety items. The city will require that basement bedrooms have egress widows widened to satisfy current code. A state law was passed several years ago preventing this type of requirement for regular rental properties. However, the special status of a vacation rental license sidesteps this restriction. So, if you have small basement windows, you can’t use that space as bedrooms or you will have to spring the cash to cut to a larger dimension.
LIMITS ON OCCUPANCY
The city limits the number of people staying in the property to two per bedroom plus two more. So, you could have 8 people stay in a three bedroom home. There are some caveats based on floorplan however that you will want to look into.
In order to be approved for a license, you must demonstrate that you have sufficient off-street parking to support your guests. The city has an interesting formula for calculating the amount that you will need. The minimum requirement is two parking spaces. If the rental has 5-6 bedrooms, you are required to have three. The parking must be tandem parking and it is not permitted to pour extra concrete or widen the driveways to accommodate the use.
The city requires that a “responsible person” be within 30 minutes of the location to respond to issues related to the property. This person must also mail their contact information to all property owners within 300 feet of the vacation rental on an annual basis. If you are looking for a responsible person to handle this mandatory paperwork and to field neighbor complaints and issues related to your vacation rental, CONTACT ME.
Non-Owner Occupied Vacation Rentals are only possible in multi-unit zoned areas of town. Neighborhoods zoned for single family use are only permitted to host a vacation rental if the home is Owner-Occupied. This provision significantly restricts the use of vacation rentals in the city. You can see a high-quality PDF of the city zoning map here.
This covers the major parts of the city regulations. As much as I dislike regulations, for the most part, it seems that these are common sense provisions. You certainly don’t want to cram too many people into a small home or provide inadequate parking for your guests. The neighbors also have a strong interest in maintaining order and enjoyment of their neighborhood. If you want to read the entire code in its detail, here is a PDF you can download:
Or, if you want to get the information straight from the horse’s mouth, you can read it HERE at the city’s online codex. In the meantime, if you are thinking of purchasing a vacation rental property, need a “responsible party” to handle your paperwork and emergency problems, or thinking of regular long term rental management, CONTACT ME, and lets put a plan together for you that works.