Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) -

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Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - The Rochester City Council agenda for Monday’s study session includes a discussion about possibly regulating short-term online rental properties in the city.

The Council will be presented with a report by city staff that recommends a two-tiered system for licensing a growing number of properties being rented through Airbnb and similar travel apps. The report estimates there about 380 units listed on Airbnb and similar online services, with single-family residences accounting for a vast majority of the units. City officials say that number has grown by almost 28-percent over the past year.

The two-tier plan would treat owner-occupied and non-owner occupied units differently. The owner-occupied units would only have to obtain a license, while the non-owner occupied units would also have to undergo an inspection. The staff recommendation calls for a $40 to $50 license fee and a $75 fee for inspections. The plan would prohibit the short-term rentals in properties with three or more units because they would be considered hotels under the city’s lodging and building codes.

The Council has the option of leaving the short-term online market unregulated, pursue the staff recommendations, or develop another plan.

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