Residential Rental Licenses

The city's Residential Rentals Ordinance establishes regulations related to residential rentals and enables the city to preserve the public health, safety, and welfare of occupants. This ordinance applies to all residential rentals, except hotels, motels, inns, tourist homes, boarding houses, cabins, and cottages.

Please use the Citizen Self-Service Business License Search for all current residential rental business license-holder information.

Residential rentals are available under the lodging category and are broken down by type: houses, apartments, cabins, cottages, efficiency apartments, and rooms rented.

The ordinance requires each landlord to:

  • provide the city with a local contact, who may be reached 24/7 when necessary to assist in remediating concerns about a rental property
  • conduct and submit to the city a self-inspection of each rental property, focusing on life safety, property maintenance, and City Code requirements
  • require landlords to educate tenants on how to be a good tenant and neighbor
  • post a residential rental business license, local contact information, and other city ordinance requirements in a conspicuous place within the rental
  • set occupancy limitations.


Penalties for violations and noncompliance are enforced.

Each new rental property, upon application for business license or change of property ownership, is required to be inspected by the city to ensure compliance with city ordinances, state regulations, and the 2018 International Property Maintenance Code. For existing rentals, the landlord is required to submit a self-inspection annually at the time of renewal.

Items covered in the inspection process for both new and existing rentals require that:

  • exterior property areas are maintained in a clean and safe condition
  • address markings meet requirements for visibility and size
  • the interior of the dwelling is maintained in a clean and safe condition
  • windows, doors, and associated hardware operate as designed and meet code requirements for egress
  • ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) are installed in all bathrooms and kitchen receptacles servicing countertop surfaces
  • smoke detectors are installed and properly maintained
  • emergency escape openings are maintained in accordance with the building code in effect at the time of construction.

To assist landlords, these two flyers are available for download: 


The city's Residential Rentals Ordinance also regulates overnight occupancy limitations for each property. Overnight occupancy may not exceed two persons per bedroom plus an additional two persons. For example, a rental dwelling that has three bedrooms has a maximum occupancy of eight occupants. Children six years of age or younger are not included in the occupant count.

Questions? Contact the building and licensing department or call 302-227-6181 x222.

Stay Informed!