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Kansas City prepares for short-term rental enforcement

KCMO Neighborhoods director
Posted at 5:45 PM, May 24, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-24 18:45:32-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Registration enforcement for the more than 1,000 illegally operating short-term rentals in Kansas City, Missouri, is coming in less than a month.

The KCMO City Council approved two ordinances in early May, establishing the registration process and giving the neighborhood services department control over enforcement.

KSHB 41 has heard from neighbors advocating for ordinance changes, stating they’re concerned over safety and quality of life.

“Our whole entire neighborhood has really felt the devastating impacts of short-term rentals, especially with the parties, the littering,” Stacy Lake, a Hyde Park neighborhood resident, said earlier this month at a committee meeting.

Owners of short-term rentals opposed recent changes to Kansas City ordinances, saying it’s not good for their small businesses.

“It just makes it nearly impossible, really,” said Kristen Doppelt, a rental owner and manager.

On June 15, the ordinances take effect.

Forest Decker, the KCMO Neighborhood Services director, is in charge of implementing and enforcing the new ordinances.

“We’re about 90% of the way through most of it,” Decker said. “We have to get it across that 10% finish line. But we are ready.”

The short-term rental page on the city’s website already lists the documents owners will need to register and data from the city’s recent audit.

On June 15, the city will add a link to the new application process.

Decker advised people who are currently operating illegally to wait until their application is approved to continue having guests in their home.

There will be a grace period, but having guests in an unregistered short-term rental is a violation of the ordinances starting June 15.

“We’re not going to immediately expect people to register on June 15 — that would overwhelm us if everybody tried to do that," Decker said. "But people need to start getting into the process and start registering then we need to start processing through that.”

The city created codes within the 311 system to better report any issues with rentals.

“In the past we haven’t had a great way to report short-term rentals,” Decker said. “There will be going forward.”

Decker says success in the first 90 days in reflected by a low level of complaints and a high level of registrations.