Short Term Rental Moratorium

Short Term Rental Moratorium


Short Term Rental Moratorium

Many council members were in favor of the short term rental moratorium, as a way to give metro council time to see what recommendations will come from the Zoning Board next week in consideration of STR ordinance changes. Others were not in favor of the moratorium as it is taking away a mechanism for individual STR operators to become complaint with the laws and the timing being abrupt to many who are currently in the permitting (CUP) process. Additionally, there was concern for the message a YES vote would send to zoning and to the community because it could be inferred that council was against STRs, which is not the case.

Nevertheless, a relentless group of 12 individuals remained in the council chambers until the vote was complete. They held signs showing their opposition to the moratorium and gently providing answers to questions bill supporters were unable to address. It was an emotional evening. The vote did not occurr until 1 AM, following a 2.5-hour debate.

Why is this important?

The most interesting events of the evening were when one of the three bill sponsors (David James, Council President, District 6 – Old Louisville) reversed his position and voted AGAINST the very bill he supported.

This vote is notable as this is the first time metro council has met to debate the STR topic since the ordinance was first passed 3 years ago by the same body. The zoning board is expected to vote on their suggested ordinance changes next week, and submit to metro council for review shortly after the first of the year.

For information on how to register your short-term rental property with Louisville Metro government, click here

Here were the vote total from Friday Morning: Vote

District Party Last name First Name STRs in District VOTE
1 D Green Jessica 0 YES
2 D Shanklin Barbara 0 No Vote
3 D Woolridge Mary 2 YES
4 D Sexton-Smith Barbara 24 YES
5 D Bryant* Cheri 1 NO
6 D James David 53 NO
7 R Leet* Angela 2 NO
8 D Coan Brandon 56 YES
9 D Hollander Bill 27 YES
10 D Milvihill Pat 17 YES
11 R Kramer Kevin 0 NO
12 D Blackwell Rick 0 YES
13 D Aubrey Welch* Vicki 0 YES
14 D Fowler Cindi 0 NO
15 D Butler* Marianne 9 YES
16 R Reed Scott 3 NO
17 R Stuckel* Glen 2 NO
18 R Parker Marilyn 0 NO
19 R Denton* Julie 1 NO
20 R Benson Stuart 0 NO
21 D Lanshima Vitalis 4 YES
22 R Engel Robin 0 NO
23 R Peden James 0 NO
24 D Flood Madonna 0 YES
25 D Yates David 1 No Vote
26 D Ackerson Brent 1 NO

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Maintaining A 5 Star Short Term Rental Landscape

Maintaining A 5 Star Short Term Rental Landscape

Operating a short term rental property can be time consuming. Most operators maintain full time jobs, families, and other obligations outside of being amazing hosts and providing a 5 star experience to every guest that walks through the door. Maintaining a 5 star short term rental landscape is often one of the last items on an operator’s to-do list. Taking care of one’s own yard is a challenging enough, but keeping two yards garden tour-worthy becomes a project rather than a chore. Here are a few tips to help keep the curb appeal of your short term rental landscape beautiful for both guests and neighbors.

Five tips to improve your short term rental landscape

1) Clean Up. This sounds like an easy step, but it is often forgotten. Simply cleaning up the yard can have a profound impact on the overall look and feel of the house. Fallen branches, litter, and leaves congregating in the corners of the fence can lead to an unkept look. Spray weeds growing through cracks in the pavement or sidewalks with weed killer, and use a broom or leaf blower to quickly remove dust and debris from all hard surfaces and the exterior of the house. Taking a few minutes weekly to clean up can go a long way in your short term rental landscape.

2) Weeding. NOTHING grows faster than a weed. Hence the often-used phrase: “growing like a weed”. And weeds are one of the most unsightly and detracting elements of any short term rental landscape. The biggest problem with weeds is that they tend to show up overnight and seem like a never-ending battle to eradicate. Here are a few tips to help keep weeds to a minimum in your short term rental landscape

  • Weed Barriers – If you don’t want to spend all spring and summer dedicated to the tiring art of weed pulling you will have to put in some hard work and sweat equity early on to inhibit weed growth from the source. Applying a weed barrier throughout the landscape produces the best results. Be aware that a weed barrier product is not a set-it-and-forget-it fix all. The product will deteriorate over time, allowing weeds to grow through. Additionally, the mulch you put on top of the barrier will compost and turn to nutrient-rich topsoil, which is a great place for nice, healthy weeds to grow. Weed barriers are only one step in a multi-step system to keep weeds at bay
  • Weed Preventer – Another weapon in the arsenal against weeds is a proactive weed-preventing agent that can be applied to the landscape. Several products exist on the market, most recognizable of them being Preen. One application can last for up to three months. Apply in March, June, and September and reduce the time spent weeding the yard significantly. This step is cost effective ($14 for 800 sq. ft. of coverage) and requires little effort. One thing to note: remove all existing weeds from the landscape before applying a weed-preventing agent. They will not kill existing weeds, jut prevent new ones from growing.

3) Mulch The Landscape. If you enjoy the feeling of instant gratification, applying a fresh layer of mulch to the landscape is on of the best things you can do you’re your wellbeing and the curb appeal of your short-term rental. Many choose to apply mulch in early spring to get the yard off to a good start, but you can lay mulch anytime during the growing season. Mulch will tell guests that the property is well kept and that the owner cares. It also does double-duty to prevent weed growth and keeps moisture in the soil to help protect plants during periods of drought. Hardwood mulch comes in a variety of colors and can be purchased by the scoop or by the bag. Look for a good quality mulch to ensure it maintains its color all season.

Some homeowners prefer a more permanent solution and look with hardscape, such as river rock or pea-gravel. Although hardscapes do not provide the same soil protection as mulch, they help prevent weed growth and require less maintenance and reapplication. The initial cost of the hardscape option is higher than mulch, but the return on investment may be better.

Short term rental landscape hardscape


4) Keep it simple. One of the most important elements of a short-term rental landscape is to keep it beautiful but also low maintenance. This often comes with simplicity. When designing the landscape, look for shrub and tree species that are slow growing and native to the area. Slow growing is important to a simple landscape because they require less attention and pruning. Drought-tolerant grasses and perennials will help ensure your yard is green and in bloom throughout the summer without the need of watering. Thoughtful selection of the plant material will help reduce overall maintenance costs and improve the satisfaction of guests.

5) Hire A Professional. There is a reason you see so many landscape companies with clever names. A Cut Above and Best Buds Landscaping thrive because many people do not enjoy yard work, or do not have time to invest. Several landscape jobs are worth hiring out because the overall cost is palatable, the work is completed faster, and there is an elevated level of expertise. One job that is often hired out – routine cutting and edging. There is nothing like a freshly cut lawn with a professional edge. Guests recognize the detail when they first arrive at the property.

I recommend a weekly yard service between March and August, and a bi-weekly yard service in September and October. This recommendation is for USDA zones 6 and 7. Other areas may require more or less service. A weekly lawn service should cost between $35 and $55, depending on the size and complexity of the yard. If you value your time and sanity, consider investing in a consistent weekly lawn service to keep.

Please note: If you maintain your lawn and are not using a trimmer and blower EVERY time you cut the grass, you most likely do not have a 5 star lawn.

Maintaining an exquisite lawn for your guests does not have to be a daunting task. And simply ignoring the responsibility will lead to a diminished guest experience and less than 5 star reviews. Follow these very easy steps to achieve a beautiful lawn all spring and summer. Your neighbors will than you too!

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Smoke Detector Regulation for Short Term Rentals in Louisville KY

Smoke Detector Regulation for Short Term Rentals in Louisville KY

Smoke Detector Regulation for Short Term Rentals in Louisville KY

Ordinance 156.202

In all dwelling units, smoke detectors powered by a hard wire AC primary power source or a self-monitored, non-removal ten-year lithium battery shall be installed and maintained after the effective date of this section. Single station detectors presently installed utilizing standard batteries may continue to be used as long as the units remain operational. Should an inspection of the concerned properties reveal these units out of service due to a low or no battery, it will be cause to replace the units with at least smoke detectors powered by a hard wire AC primary power source or a self-monitored, non-removal ten-year lithium battery.

In order to comply with this section, only ionization or photoelectric type detectors listed by a nationally recognized testing laboratory shall be installed.

Smoke detectors shall be installed in accordance with applicable NFPA Standards and the manufacturer’s recommendations. Detectors may be ceiling or wall mounted, provided that they shall be mounted at a minimum of four inches and a maximum of 12 inches from the ceiling, and not closer than four inches from the point at which the ceiling and wall meet.

In a dwelling unit, which contains a well-defined sleeping room separated from the other activity areas of the same unit, the detector shall be located in the corridor within the unit or interior area giving access to the rooms used for sleeping purposes. Where sleeping areas are separated and/or where a single smoke detector will not adequately service all sleeping areas, there shall be a smoke detector installed adjacent to each sleeping area. In a rooming unit the detector shall be centrally located.

In a dwelling containing two or more dwelling units or any rooming unit, in addition to the requirements for individual smoke detectors in each dwelling unit or rooming unit, detectors shall be placed in centrally located common areas so that smoke detectors will adequately service all sleeping areas.

Installation and maintenance.

The owner of a dwelling shall be responsible for supplying and installing in an operable condition, the required detectors and for providing the manufacturer’s maintenance and testing instructions to the tenant.

The owner of a dwelling shall be responsible for maintenance and testing of detectors , in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions, which are located in common areas and/or detectors in rooming units where the tenant usually has periods of occupancy, (less than 30 continuous days, such as, hotels, motels, tourist homes).

The tenant shall be responsible for maintaining and testing the detectors, in accordance with the manufacturer’ instructions, which are within his or her exclusive control during the life of the tenancy. The tenant shall be responsible for notifying the owner in writing when detectors become inoperable, and the owner shall have ten days after receipt of such written notice in which to replace or repair the detectors in an operable condition. In the existing single station, battery-operated types of detectors , battery replacement will not be allowed. In the event existing detectors with standard batteries are found inoperable, the units shall be replaced with at least smoke detectors powered by a hardwire AC primary power source or a self-monitored, non-removal ten-year lithium battery.

At every change of tenancy in all multi-family residential units and dormitories, it shall be the duty of the owner to test and ascertain that those detectors contained in the unit are in operable condition, and if not, the owner shall be responsible for placing them in operable condition. Further, in the event existing detectors with standard batteries are found inoperable, the owner shall be responsible for replacing such detectors with at least smoke detectors powered by a hardwire AC primary power source or a self-monitored, non-removal ten-year lithium battery.

In all hotels, motels, rooming houses or tourist homes it shall be the duty of the owner to test such detectors on a regular basis in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions, and the owner shall be responsible for maintaining such units in an operable condition. A log of smoke detector inspections and findings shall be maintained by the owner, and shall be made available to fire inspectors upon request.

It shall be the responsibility of the property owner to install at least smoke detectors powered by a hardwire AC primary power source or a self-monitored, non-removal ten year lithium battery before transfer of the property to a new party. A signed affidavit of the property owner, given to purchaser, seller, and real estate agent before transfer will suffice in meeting this requirement.

Where AC powered detectors have been installed and maintained in accordance with previous ordinances, they shall continue to be used in accordance with the manufacturers installation and maintenance guidelines. Such smoke detectors that are found to be non-operational, damaged, or missing shall be replaced with a hard wire AC powered smoke detector of similar or like-type.


The information above was taken from the Louisville/Jefferson County Metro Government Ordinances, provided by American Legal Publishing Corporation, Chapter 156: Property Management and Maintenance, and can be accessed here.

This Code of Ordinances and/or any other documents that appear on this site may not reflect the most current legislation adopted by the Municipality. Key Source Properties provides these documents for informational purposes only. These documents should not be relied upon as the definitive authority for local legislation. Additionally, the formatting and pagination of the posted documents varies from the formatting and pagination of the official copy. The official printed copy of a Code of Ordinances should be consulted prior to any action being taken.

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Setting Up A Short Term Rental In Louisville KY

Setting Up A Short Term Rental In Louisville KY

Navigating the short-term rental legal process

Setting up a short-term rental listing in Louisville, KY is not as difficult as you would think. Many parts of the country are plagued by heavy regulation that can increase the barriers-to-entry for newcomers and those unfamiliar with the process. Louisville’s short-term rental climate is very accepting, as long as your property fits the guidelines and you follow the proper legal requirements.
A short-term rental is defined as a rental that is 29 consecutive days OR LESS.  Rentals of thirty (30) days or more are not short-term rentals, by law, and therefore not governed by short-term rental laws or zoning requirements. Tax obligations are due to both the state of Kentucky and City of Louisville for all short term rentals, and are as follows:

State of Kentucky:
Sales Tax: 6%
Transient Tax: 1%

City of Louisville:
Hotel or Bed Tax: 8.5%

Not all properties can be short term rentals

Property types that qualify for short-term rentals in Louisville, KY:
Single Family Residence
Commercial Building**
*Condominium owners must have written permission from the association board. Residentially zoned condominiums must be owner occupied. Commercially zoned condominiums do not have an owner occupied requirement.

**Commercial Buildings must be zoned C-R, C-N, C-1, C-2 or C-3 and the property meets the following criteria: 1) within 200 feet of a TARC route, 2) within .75 miles of a public park, 3) within one mile of a National Register District or local Preservation District. 
Property types that DO NOT qualify for short-term rentals in Louisville, KY:
Multi-family Dwellings (3 or more units under a single roof)
You can have more than three listings on a single plot or land (example: The main house is a duplex and the back yard has a carriage house), but not under the same roof.
Commercial buildings can also have more than three (3) short-term rental units.

Short Term Rentals in Louisville Condos

All Condos must have a CUP, regardless of owner-occupancy.

Any condo within any R zone:

1) Requires a CUP
2) Must be primary residence of owner
3) Must have written confirmation of permission from condo association

Registration and Permitting –

If the property you are looking to rent is your primary residence, you are only required to register with Louisville Metro Planning and Design Services ANNUALLY, pay $25, and register with Louisville Metro Revenue Commission for payment of occupancy tax.

If the property you are looking to rent is NOT your primary residence, or is in the TNZD (traditional neighborhood zoning district), you must apply for and obtain a conditional use permit (CUP) from Louisville Metro Government in order to legally operate a short-term rental.

Additional short term rental rules to follow…

Other Rules:

  • Obtain a CUP (if necessary)
  • Register annually with Louisville Metro Planning and Design Services
  • Remit 8.5% Occupancy Tax to Louisville Metro Revenue Commission
  • Remit 6% sales tax and 1% transient tax to the State of Kentucky
  • Meet smoke detector requirements
  • Post an evacuation plan
  • Do not serve or sell food or alcohol
  • Do not post outdoor signage as advertisement
  • Occupancy limitations are 2X the number of bedrooms, plus four (4)
  • Failure to register is the equivalent of operating without a permit
  • STR regulations do not supersede lease agreements, homeowner’s association bylaws, covenants, deed restrictions, or any other agreement, law or regulation that prohibits subletting or use of your dwelling as a short-term rental. 
  • The following cities that retain independent zoning authority have not adopted a zoning ordinance specifically allowing short term rentals: Anchorage, Douglass Hills, Graymoor-Devondale, Hurstbourne, Indian Hills, Jeffersontown, Lyndon, Middletown, Prospect, Shively, St. Matthews and St. Regis Park. Therefore, check regulation before beginning the STR process in these areas.

Helpful links:


1. Short Term Rental Annual Registration Application Form (In Person or Mail Submittal Option)
2. Short Term Rental Annual Registration Application Form (Online Submittal Option) 
3. Short Term Rental CUP Pre-Application
4. Short Term Rental CUP Formal Application

Helpful Links

How to register your short term rental 
LOJIC map to find your property’s zoning
Frequently Asked Questions
Metro Council Short Term Rental Ordinance Amending Metro Code (Title XI, Chapter 115.515–115.521)
Metro Council Short Term Rental Ordinances Amending Land Development Code
Smoke Detector Requirements (Title IX, Chapter 94.02)
Map of Metro Council Zoning Authority Area
Process for Conditional Use Permit approval
Louisville Metro Revenue Commission

Your source for short term property consulting and management.