Permit needed to rent out private homes, cabins in Wisconsin

JOAN AND CURT SPEARS, in the center, meet with Florence County Health Department representatives intern Kayla Marchant, left, and Amber Kolberg, health officer/director, for the annual inspection of their rental cabin.

FLORENCE, Wis. — The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection requires a permit for all lodging facilities in Wisconsin.

There are many types of lodging facilities including but not limited to: hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts, cabins, cottages, lodges and homes rented for a short period of time.

Homes rented for a short period of time are called Tourist Rooming Houses, or TRHs. DATCP defines a Tourist Rooming House as all lodging places and tourist cabins and cottages, other than hotels and motels in which sleeping accommodations are offered for pay to tourists or transients.

A bed and breakfast also has specific DATCP requirements, including the establishment being the owner’s personal residence and in which the only meal served to guests is breakfast.

DATCP defines a tourist or transient as a person who travels to a location away from his or her permanent address for a short period of time for vacation, pleasure, recreation, culture, business or employment. In the definition for tourists or transients, a person has to be away from his or her permanent address. If it is rented to a tourist or transient, it will require a license.

Begin by contacting the Florence County Health Department at 715-528-4837 and the zoning office. The department will assist owners to help determine the best license for their lodging operation. The registered sanitarian is the inspector responsible for approving the lodging license. The inspection assures the lodging operation meets health and safety requirements.

Applications are available at the Florence County Health Department, in the courthouse at 501 Lake Ave. in Florence, by calling 715-528-4837 or by going to the website at https://www.florencecountywi.com.