Applications open for Duluth’s new vacation rental permits

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Duluth homeowners are now able to begin the application process, turning their home into a limited vacation rental property. The permits are offered for owner-occupied properties that will be rented out for fewer than three weeks a year.

"A vacation dwelling unit is where someone will leave their house, they won’t be present at all, and their house is essentially functioning as a full-time vacation rental," Duluth’s Deputy Director of Planning & Economic Development Adam Fulton said.

Before now, homeowners had to get a full, six-year vacation dwelling unit permit, of which there are only 60 available. There is a waiting list for those permits. These new limited permits are annual and will not count toward the cap, although that is also increasing beyond 60 units.

Last month, the Duluth City Council signed off on an increase to vacation rentals as long as the housing stock increases too. Each year, 10 percent of the net housing increase in the city can be added as Airbnb-type vacation rentals with a maximum of 10. So if 80 new units of housing are added in 2021, eight more vacation rental permits could be added in 2022 for a total of 68 available.

"This is available in any residential zone in the City. So this can be someone that maybe owns a property, an LLC, or maybe they’ve just had that property and are looking to do something different," Fulton said.

The application period is open now through December 10th.

For more information on Duluth’s policies around short-term rentals, visit the city’s website.