When deciding whether to become an Airbnb host, it is important for you to understand the laws in your city. As a platform and marketplace we do not provide legal advice, but we want to give you some useful links that may help you better understand laws and regulations in Lexington. This list is not exhaustive, but it should give you a good start in understanding your local laws. If you have questions, contact the Division of Planning and Zoning directly at (859) 258-3160, or consult a local lawyer or tax professional.
Business Licenses. All short term rentals in Lexington must obtain a business license. The application can be obtained online at https://www.lexingtonky.gov/how-to-start-a-business-lexington, or by visiting the Division of Revenue office located at 200 East Main. You can submit the application online, in person, or by mail. Please include a check or money order for the $100.00 license fee made payable to LFUCG.
Zoning Restrictions. All short term rentals in Lexington must receive a Certificate of Occupancy. This is a legal document that indicates that you can use your building or space legally. You can submit an application online at lexingtonky.gov/permits or contact the Division of Planning & Zoning.
Transient Room Tax. Hosts of short term rentals are responsible for payment of the transient room tax and should contact VisitLex, the Lexington Convention and Visitors Bureau. The total tax will be (8.5) percent.
Restrictive Covenants. Owners who live in a development or subdivision with a deed of restriction covenant should determine if the covenants regulate rental activity. Restrictive covenants often include provisions that prohibit rental or commercial activity and might prevent an owner from renting his or her property as a short term rental. Restrictive covenants may also include rules and regulations for the development that should be shared with guests.
Other Legal Considerations. An owner or host who intends to participate in the short term rental market should seek legal advice to determine if a different form of ownership is needed to provide anonymity or protection from individual liability and to prepare an occupancy agreement specific to the arrangement the owner wishes to establish with the renter.
Other Taxes and Fees. An owner or host should be aware that short term renting may be subject to other local, state and federal taxes, regulations and rules, including but not limited to the (1) percent state transient room tax and (6) percent sales tax.
We are committed to working with local officials to help them understand how Airbnb benefits our community. Where needed, we will continue to advocate for changes that will allow regular people to rent out their own homes.