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Appointment Only

Building Inspection is open to the public by appointment only.

For more on appointments and other services, please see the Building Inspection Services page.

Short-Term Rentals

What is a Tourist Rooming House (TRH)? A short-term rental, or a rental for fewer than 30 nights of any partial or whole structure for sleeping accommodations. Airbnb, VRBO, HomeAway, and are a few online platforms that connect hosts and travelers.


REQUIRED: Zoning Tourist Rooming House Permit (ZTRHP). All Tourist Rooming Houses (TRHs) must have a Tourist Rooming House license from Public Health before advertising or renting out any short-term rental. A Zoning Tourist Rooming House Permit (ZTRHP) is also required. By 10/1/20, TRH operators must have obtained a valid ZTRHP. You must display the ZTRHP number in all advertisings. Operators must have a Public Health TRH license before applying for the ZTRHP permit.


Why have regulations? Websites such as Airbnb and VRBO connect homeowners with people who need a place to stay when traveling. Many homeowners use these platforms for intermittent, on-the-side rentals. Some property owners, though, have gone far beyond this modest ideal. These owners use the web platforms to operate de-facto hotels. Others are buying property with the sole purpose of using it as a short-term rental. Taken to extreme, short-term rentals affect neighboring property owners. They can change a neighborhood's character and limit the stock of affordable housing.


Madison's ordinances strive to balance the competing rights of property owners. Under city ordinance, homeowners or renters can earn some extra money renting out space in the dwelling they occupy. Reasonable restrictions ensure that neighbors retain the right to control the type of neighborhood they are living in.

Last Updated: 01/27/2022

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Permit & License Required

Currently, all TRH operators must have a valid TRH license from Public Health before advertising or renting out any short-term rental. As of 10/1/20, all operators must also have a valid Zoning Tourist Rooming House Permit (ZTRHP).


Remember - If you are unsure, ask the Zoning Staff

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