Short Term Rentals

Iundefined Opens in new windown June of 2023, the Monona City Council adopted an amended Ordinance regulating the use of residential properties as Short Term Rentals (STR). The Ordinance was written in order to protect the community's public health, safety and general welfare, and to protect the character and stability of Monona's neighborhoods.

Short-term rentals operating within the City of Monona are regulated by the City Code of Ordinances, Ch. 367. To determine if your property is eligible to be used as a Short Term Rental, and to determine how your property is regulated, please use this flowchart.

If you plan to operate a short-term rental property within the City you must first obtain a license from Public Health Madison and Dane County, and then register with the City to obtain a Short Term Rental Permit. Details and application forms can be found here: STR Permit Application Forms.

Due to a delay in implementing our software and a review of our current procedures, the deadline for submitting a complete application for a permit for Short Term Rentals is delayed until May 15, 2024. Permits will be considered for the period of July 1, 2024-June 30, 2025. 

Application Forms

STR Permit application forms must be submitted to the City Clerk annually by June 30. Permits are valid July 1-June 30.

 Click on image to enlarge

Quarterly Reporting

Quarterly Reporting forms must be submitted to the City Clerk four times per year. Due dates are below:

  • Quarter 1 (January-March), due May 1
  • Quarter 2 (April-June), due August 1
  • Quarter 3 (July-September), due November 1
  • Quarter 4 (October-December), due February 1                                                                                 

Failure to submit two quarterly reports on time within any permitting year shall result in the automatic revocation of a permit.


What is a short-term rental? 

A short-term rental (STR) is a residential dwelling unit in which sleeping accommodations for between 1-29 days are offered to guests or tourists for a fee. Short-term rentals are often listed on websites such as Airbnb, VRBO, or HomeAway. They are also known as Tourist Rooming Houses (TRHs), and do not include hotels, motels, or bed and breakfasts.

Who can operate a short-term rental?

Any property owner or lessee may operate an STR. If you rent your property, you may operate an STR only if explicitly allowed in your lease. If you property is part of a Condominium Association, you may only operate an STR if explicitly allowed by the condominium association.

What does it mean to be an operator of a Short Term Rental?

An operator is the person who owns or leases the property being used as an STR, and who is conducting the STR business. This includes, but is not limited to, interacting with guests, advertising the property, and being identified as the "host" on listings.

Do I need a permit to operate a short-term rental?

A permit is needed if you will operate an STR for any number of days within a calendar year.

Why do I need a permit?

Short Term Rental permits help to ensure the quality of short term rentals operating within the City is adequate for protecting public health, safety and general welfare, including establishing minimum standards of space for human occupancy and for an adequate level of maintenance. Permits are also used to determine the responsibilities of owners and lessees offering these properties for tourists or transient occupants, to protect the character and stability of all areas, especially residential areas, within the City, and to provide minimum standards necessary for the health and safety of persons occupying or using buildings, structures or premises, and provisions for the administration and enforcement thereof.

What is the permit fee?

There is an annual fee of $750. If the STR is operated for less than 15 days during a permitting year, a 50% partial refund will be offered.

What are the fines for violating the STR Ordinance?

  • Late filing fee: $100
  • Operation of an STR without a valid permit: $500-1000 per day
  • Other violations of Monona Code of Ordinances, Chapter 367: $500-1000 per day, fines doubled if violator's permit has been revoked

How long is the permit valid?

Permits are valid for one permitting year, July 1 through June 30.

Are there rules on the length of stays that can be offered?

All operators may offer their STR for stays of 7-29 days. If the STR is your primary residence, then you may also offer your STR for stays of 1-6 days.

What is a Primary Residence?

A primary residence is the dwelling unit that serves as an individual's true, fixed and permanent home for at least 183 days in a calendar year and to which, whenever absent therefrom, that individual intends to return. Additional characteristics of a primary residence include, but are not limited to, where an individual receives mail, claims residence for purposes of voter registration, pays for utilities, and lists as their address on state issued identification cards. An individual can have only one primary residence

Are there limits to the total number of days which I can rent out an STR?

There are only limits for stays of 1-6 days during which the operator is not on site. For these stays, there is a limit of 30 rental days per permitting year. 

There are no limits for stays of 7-29 days, or for 1-6 day stays during which the operator occupies the residence along with the guests(s).

Can I rent out an STR any time during the year?

Stays of 1-6 days may occur anytime throughout the year. 

Stays of 7-29 days may only occur during a consecutive 180-day period. This 180-day period may begin at any time of your choosing, but you must notify the City Clerk in writing or email when the period begins.

Do I need to be on-site while my STR is being rented?

You do not have to be on-site during stays.

How many guests are allowed during a stay?

The allowed number of guests depends on the number of legal bedrooms in the dwelling unit. You are allowed to host 2 guests for each legal bedroom, with a maximum of 12 guests. Children under the age of 12 do not count towards this maximum.

For example, if your property has 3 legal bedrooms, you are allowed 6 guests ages 12 or above. If your property has 7 or more legal bedrooms, you are allowed 12 guests ages 12 or above.

Can I rent out to different parties under different bookings at the same time?

You may rent your STR to multiple unassociated parties only for stays of 7-29 days, or for stays of 1-6 days during which you are on site.

Do I need to keep a guest registry?

All operators must maintain a guest registry and keep it on site. Copies must be retained for at least 2 years. Guest registry forms are available with the application materials.

Will my STR be inspected?

Prior to a issuing a permit, the City's Fire Chief and Building Inspectors will inspect an STR to ensure compliance with the Monona Code of Ordinances. 

Can I transfer my permit to a new property or operator?

No, permits are not transferrable to any other individuals or properties. 

Do I need to collect Room Tax?

Yes, you must register with the City of Monona Treasurer's Office to pay room tax and stay current on all room tax payments. Room tax forms are available with the application materials. Some advertising platforms may collect and remit room tax to the City on your behalf. It is the operator's responsibility to check with the platform.

Can I be granted an exception?

You may be granted a modification to one or more operational requirements if both of the following are true:

  • Due to factors specific to your STR, strict compliance with the operational requirements would render the STR economically unfeasible
  • Any modifications would further the purpose of the Monona Code of Ordinances, Chapter 367 and not impair the public health, safety, peace, or tranquility of the area. 

Click here to request a modification from the City Administrator.