Complete Guide To Get A Vacation Rental License in Cleveland, OH [UPDATED 2024]

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Cleveland, Ohio, has established regulations to govern short-term (Airbnb) rentals, aiming to balance the interests of property owners, residents, and the community at large. Below is an overview of key aspects related to short-term rentals in the city.

Definition of Short-Term Rental (STR) in Cleveland, OH

Cleveland defines a short-term (Airbnb) rental as any owner-occupied residential unit designed for living quarters or residence, utilized for more than 91 days each year. Additionally, it encompasses public lodging options hosting guests for less than 30 days at a time, with "Vacation Rental" and "Short-term Rental" being interchangeable terms (Source:

Vacation Rental License Requirements

Adherence to Cleveland Codified Ordinance Section 365 is necessary to obtain a Vacation Rental License in Cleveland, Ohio, involving the following requirements:

  1. Property Registration: All owners, agents, or individuals in charge of dwellings intended for use as rental units within the city must register these properties.
  2. Rental Registration Fee: The registration process includes the payment of a non-refundable rental registration fee per unit.
  3. Annual Certificate of Rental Registration: Property owners must obtain a Certificate of Rental Registration annually from the Department of Building & Housing for each registered property.

Costs Associated with a Vacation Rental License

Securing a Vacation Rental License in Cleveland, Ohio, involves a mandatory, non-refundable registration fee of $70 per rental unit. This fee is an annual obligation for property owners or responsible agents (Source: The City of Cleveland Short Term Rentals).

Ownership Limits for Investors

In an effort to discourage bulk purchases of properties for short-term rentals in residential neighborhoods, off-site investors in Cleveland are prohibited from operating full-time Airbnb properties without obtaining a zoning change and other regulatory approvals (Source:

Zoning Restrictions

While short-term (Airbnb) rentals are permitted in residentially zoned areas in Cleveland, a specific condition exists: each rental unit may only be booked for a maximum of 91 days per year (Source: City of Cleveland Zoning Division).

Operating as a Business Entity

Investors in Cleveland, Ohio, are allowed to own and operate Airbnb properties as business entities. However, compliance with all relevant laws and regulations, including business registration requirements, zoning restrictions, and specific requirements for short-term rentals, is crucial (Source: The City of Cleveland Short Term Rentals).

Registration of Different Property Types

Cleveland permits investors to register various residential buildings, including accessory dwelling units (ADU), duplexes, and multifamily homes, as vacation rentals. However, zoning considerations must be addressed, and, in some cases, property zoning changes may be necessary (Source: The City of Cleveland Short Term Rentals).

Vacation Rental Occupancy Limits

Cleveland enforces vacation rental occupancy limits based on the size of the home. For specific and up-to-date information, property owners should refer to the relevant ordinances in Cleveland (Source: Cleveland Ohio Ordinance).

Inspection Requirements

Both interior and exterior inspections are mandatory in Cleveland for investors to obtain a short-term (Airbnb) rental license. City code officials identify potential issues, with a focus on life safety, and property owners must rectify any deficiencies to comply with applicable codes (Source: Cleveland Ohio Ordinance).

Responsible Agent Requirements

While Cleveland does not mandate a responsible agent for managing vacation rentals, having a designated person for operational matters is considered good practice (Source: Cleveland Ohio Ordinance).

Insurance Requirements

Cleveland does not impose specific insurance requirements for vacation rentals. However, investors are advised to consider obtaining insurance policies specifically tailored to cover potential liabilities arising from guests' stays (Source: Cleveland Ohio Ordinance).

Duration and Renewal Terms of Vacation Rental License

A Cleveland, OH Vacation Rental license is typically valid for one year and requires annual renewal. The renewal process may include payment of renewal fees and potential property inspections to ensure compliance with local housing and safety standards (Source: The City of Cleveland Short Term Rentals).

Tax Considerations for Hosts

In Cleveland, hosts are subject to a 3% Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) and a separate 5.5% bed tax imposed by Cuyahoga County. While Airbnb automatically collects and remits the county bed tax, hosts must directly pay the Transient Occupancy Tax to Cleveland (Source:

Navigating these regulations and staying informed about any updates is essential for property owners and investors involved in short-term (Airbnb) rentals in Cleveland, Ohio.