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Council Passes Short-Term Rental Ordinance

The Tulsa City Council voted 8-0 to pass an ordinance at its March 11 meeting requiring short-term rental operators to obtain a license from the City of Tulsa.

An annual licensing fee will be required that will cover additional staff costs in the Working in Neighborhoods department and the use of a third-party monitoring company. This company will provide neighbors access to a 24-hour hotline to report issues or ask questions.

As part of the licensing requirement, owners must provide a local contact person who will be available 24 hours a day and seven days a week to respond to any complaints.

The ordinance establishes two types of short-term rentals:

  • Principal Use Short-Term Rentals: The owner intends to list the property full-time as a short-term rental and has no intention of having long-term residents living on the property.
  • Accessory Use Short-Term Rentals: The principal use of the lot will remain a residence and the occupants of that residence would be renting their own home or part of their home to a single party of guests on a short-term basis.

Principal use and accessory use short-term rentals will be permitted by right in approved zoning districts and no special exception approval will be required.

A short-term rental is limited to a maximum occupancy of 8 persons at any one time for temporary lodging for a period of less than 30 consecutive days.

The following use regulations were also approved:

  • A short-term rental must comply with all licensing requirements of the City of Tulsa and an approved license number must be included with any material advertising the short-term rental.
  • Events are not permitted in conjunction with a short-term rental use. Examples of events include, but are not limited to, weddings, receptions, anniversaries, private parties, banquets, and business seminars.
  • A register of short-term rental guests must be maintained and made available to city code enforcement upon request.
  • External structural alterations or site improvements that change the residential character of the lot upon which a short-term rental is located are prohibited. Examples of such prohibited alterations include, but are not limited to, the construction of a parking lot, the addition of commercial-like exterior lighting, and signage.
  • No recreational vehicle, bus, or trailer shall be parked on a residential street in conjunction with a short-term rental use. A recreational vehicle, bus or trailer may be parked on the property if not visible from the street.

City Councilors plan to continue to monitor short-term rental issues in their districts and may recommend adjusts to the ordinance as needed.

This ordinance has an effective date of July 1, 2020.