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Airbnb Rules in Utah | Airbnb Laws, Taxes, and Regulations

Airbnb Rules in Utah | Airbnb Laws, Taxes, and Regulations

Airbnb, HomeAway, and VRBO have changed the way travelers travel. More and more vacationers prefer renting private homes than hotels. With that said, more and more people utilize properties as short-term rentals. However, when deciding whether to become an Airbnb host, it is important to understand that laws vary from city to city. And if by any chance, you are living in Utah and considering utilizing your property as a short-term rental but not quite sure what are the Airbnb laws, taxes, and regulations? Well, this article will guide you through most of the Frequent Questions Asked when considering a vacation rental property in your city.

What is a short-term rental in Utah?

Homes, apartments, or any space available for the use of accommodations or lodging of guests for less than thirty consecutive days, wherein guests pay a fee are considered as a short-term rental.

Is a License Required?

Yes! It is unlawful to operate a short-term rental property in Utah without obtaining a registered license. Thinking to get a license? Here is what needs to be done:

License Application

Applications shall contain the following:

  • Location of the short-term rental
  • Number of rooms therein contained
  • The number of persons who will be accommodated at the short- term rental
  • Name of the property manager
  • Sales tax collection and account number
  • Name, address, and telephone number of a local, responsible party available 24 hours a day by phone
  • Other information from time to time is required by the license official

The application shall also include:

  • Applicant statement affirming in compliance with all legal requirements
  • Paid all applicable taxes, fees, and other charges including but not limited to the transient room tax.

License Fee

At the time of the application submission, the applicant must pay a Short-Term Rental (STR) Permit Fee, annually. Take note that, from time to time, the permit fee established and modified shall be designated in the Town’s Uniform Fee Schedule.

All applications will automatically be deemed incomplete until paid.

Short-Term Rental Renewal and Transfer

After the date of issuance, permits are valid for one year and may be renewed depending on the following:

  • Annual STR Permit Fee
  • Updated application submitted
  • Confirmation with the Utah State Tax Commission that the owner current remittance of transient room tax and sales tax
  • Has not received more than two unresolved complaints. If it has, the renewal may be denied or additional requirements are placed upon the issuance of the renewal permit.
  • In an appeal to the decision of the Town’s Authority for renewal with additional conditions or requirements to the preceding section. The said appeal must be made in writing within 10 working days.
  • In the event of a sale or other transfer of any property with an STR Permit, the purchaser or transferee of the property will be required to apply for a new STR permit within 45 days of the date of purchase or transfer.

Short-Term Rental Regulations

In Utah, when operating a short-term rental, be aware of the local regulations applied including:

  • Legality
  • Permits, licenses, and registrations
  • Zoning
  • Advertising
  • Neighborhood notification
  • Building and housing standards

However, the Homeowner Associations in Utah may also have other specific rules applied concerning vacation rentals. It is important to be aware of the association’s policy and understand if there are restrictions or limitations required.

Take note that other regulations connected with leases/subletting, condo/co-op rules may also be applied.

Short-Term Rental Tax

After registering with tax authorities, you can charge guests additional rental tax in the final bill of their stay. Take note that, rates do change often. Hence, ensure before collecting short-term rental taxes from guests to have the updated rates in avoidance of over or undercharging guests and running into compliance issues.

How do occupancy tax collection and remittance by Airbnb work?

In specific jurisdictions, on behalf of Airbnb hosts, whenever a guest pays for a booking will either:

  • automatically collect and pay occupancy taxes
  • manually collect occupancy taxes
  • or may not be applicable

This process is automated and does not change which taxes are due or the total expenditure you’ll continuously receive minus the standard Airbnb service fee as a host. Hence, automatic collection and payment simply make it easier for everyone. Find out more on how do occupancy tax collection and remittance by Airbnb works?

Which taxes apply to Utah Short-Term Rentals?

Depending on the jurisdiction, short-term rentals are subjected to:

State Sales Tax

Within 5.95 to 8.35% of the listing price includes cleaning fees and guest fees for reservations under 29 nights and shorter. Utah’s combined sales tax is a combination of the state sales tax of 4.7% and the county option sales tax of 0.25%. One or more of the following additional Sales Taxes may apply: Resort Communities Tax, First Class County Tax (Salt Lake County), Mass Transit Tax, Rural Hospital Tax, Arts Zoo Tax, Highway Tax, and Local Option Taxes.

Transient Room Tax

0.32% of the listing price including any cleaning fees and guest fees for reservations 29 nights and shorter.

Local Transient Room Tax

One or more of the following Local Transient Room Taxes may apply: County Transient Room Tax, Municipal Transient Room Tax, and Tourism Transient Room Tax. The total local transient room tax varies by city and county. It is typically 3%-6.25% of the listing price including any cleaning fees and guest fees for reservations 29 nights and shorter.

What charges are taxable?

Lodging tax on short-term rental charges including cleaning and pet fees are imposed by the State of Utah. However, parking fees and other charges for services such as laundry or dry cleaning are not taxable.

Note: Lodging tax is a percentage of the cost of your guest’s stay added to the price of the bill. With that said, the guests pay the tax and hosts are responsible for collecting the tax and paying it to the relevant tax authority.

Ready to find out how Hostaway can transform your business?

Hostaway is proud to support thousands of Property Managers and Airbnb Hosts Around the world. We take pride in being Top Ranked in Vacation Rental Software Review Sites: Capterra, G2, Software Advice, Trust Pilot, to name just a few! Check out our reviews and read the Hostaway Case Studies from real successful and growing Short-Term Rental Managers!