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Racine Pushes for Registration of 130 Newly Identified Short-Term Rentals

Racine Pushes for Registration of 130 Newly Identified Short-Term Rentals

July 9, 2024 11:34 AM CDT

By: Stuart J. Wattles

RACINE, Wis. (WRJN) — The City of Racine is ramping up efforts to ensure short-term vacation rentals are safe and properly registered. The Public Health Department is urging operators to get required permits as the annual licensing period begins.

Racine approved an ordinance six years ago to regulate short-term rentals, regarding websites like Airbnb and Vrbo. The permitting process includes annual inspections by the city’s Building Inspection, Fire, and Public Health departments.

“This process ensures the short-term rentals are maintained and meet codes and specifications for the safety of the renters, owners, neighbors and the community,” said Dottie-Kay Bowersox, City of Racine Public Health Administrator.

In the previous licensing year, 19 tourist rooming houses were permitted to operate in Racine. However, a new data analysis program used by the city identified an additional 130 locations being used, prompting the health department to contact the property owners and encourage compliance.

The annual permits, valid from July 1 through June 30, allow the rental of whole or partial residences for up to 29 days. Fees and application processes are detailed on the city’s website.

Bowersox emphasized that safe and compliant vacation rentals can boost tourism in Racine. The city views this initiative as crucial for maintaining safety standards while supporting the growing short-term rental market.

Property owners seeking more information or assistance with the permitting process can visit the city’s website or contact the Department of Customer Service.

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