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Oklahoma Short Term Rental Laws & Airbnb Regulations

Laws in Oklahoma cities vary significantly for Airbnb's

Oklahoma Short Term Rental Laws & Airbnb Regulations

Key takeaways

Oklahoma Short Term Rental Laws & Airbnb Regulations

The State of Oklahoma is an excellent location to invest in the Airbnb strategy even if it's not the first place that comes to the mind of investors. The nature, the climate, the Native American heritage, the country music, and the local cuisine ensure year-round demand from short-term visitors. Low property prices are another factor that make Oklahoma a haven for investors, especially beginners with limited budgets.

The Oklahoma short-term rental laws contribute to making the Sooner State a great vacation rental market. While there are no statewide regulations, most cities have enacted their own rules that are permissive of Airbnb rentals, including non-owner-occupied properties.

In this article we will have a look at any state laws and the short-term rental regulations in six of the top locations for Airbnb in Oklahoma.

*If after reading this article, you need help, know that Awning offers full-service vacation rental management. This includes navigating the legal work and assuring compliance with local legislative requirements, for an industry-low fee of 15% of revenue. 

Oklahoma’s Definition of a Short Term Rental

The State of Oklahoma does not have a unified definition of short-term rentals at the state level. Individual cities across Oklahoma define a short-term rental as the rental of a dwelling unit or a part of it for a period of up to 30 consecutive days.

This is like the definitions adopted by most states, including the California, Georgia, and Colorado short-term rental laws. Notable exceptions to this prevailing rule are Alabama (with an upper limit of 90 days) and North Carolina (180 days).

Starting a Short-Term Rental Business in Oklahoma

Starting an Oklahoma Airbnb business does not require any specific steps as there is no requirement for licensing or permitting at the state level. Starting any business in Oklahoma does not impose any specific requirements. So, short-term rental owners need to follow the rules imposed by local authorities in their selected market in Oklahoma.

Short Term Rental Licensing Requirement in Oklahoma

Oklahoma short-term rental properties do not require state-level licenses or permits. Most cities have imposed their own licensing and permitting ordinances. This practice is in line with other major markets like Texas and Hawaii. Across the US, the Florida short-term rental laws make the Sunshine State one of the few markets that stipulate the need for a lodging license at the state level.

Required Documents for Oklahoma Short Term Rentals

Oklahoma vacation rental property owners do not need specific documents when starting their business. What is required are the documents necessary for getting an EIN, a sales and use tax license, and those required by local authorities.

While Oklahoma cities ask for different documents when applying for a short-term rental license or permit, the most common documents include owner information, contact person information, application form, proof of ownership/primary residence, floor plan, owner authorization, safety certification, and proof of availability of parking spaces.

Oklahoma Short Term Rental Taxes

To operate an Oklahoma short-term rental business legally, investors need to pay a few different taxes. These include:

  • Federal rental income tax
  • State sales tax at 4.5%
  • Local sales tax
  • Local hotel/lodging tax

The local sales tax and hotel tax vary from county to county and city to city, so hosts need to check with the local authorities.

Oklahoma Vacation Rental Tax Deductions

Federal laws stipulate that if you rent out your second home for over 14 days in a calendar year and use it for personal purposes for up to 14 days per year, you qualify for vacation home deductions. This means that you can write off certain expenses associated with running your short-term rental business when filing taxes.

The short-term rental tax deductions you can deduct include:

  • Mortgage interest
  • Mortgage insurance premium
  • Depreciation
  • Property and other taxes
  • Maintenance
  • Repairs
  • Utilities
  • Supplies
  • Cleaning, accounting, legal, and other business fees
  • Travel costs
  • Home office expenses

It’s a smart move to apply all these tax benefits as this will help you optimize your cash flow and profitability in real estate.

Statewide Short Term Rental Rules in Oklahoma

Similar to most other US states, Oklahoma does not have short-term rental regulations at the state level. Instead, the state authorities have left it to the city governments to decide on how to regulate vacation rentals, based on the specific housing market situation and the needs of local communities.

Short Term Rental Rules By Oklahoma City

Most cities in Oklahoma have introduced their own short-term rental laws. This is in response to the expanding vacation rental industry, which has affected both the housing market and local communities. While rules vary from city to city, non-owner occupied short-term rentals are legal in most locations, which makes the Oklahoma real estate market a good choice for this real estate investing strategy.

Next, we will look at the specific Airbnb regulations in six of the most popular tourist destinations in Oklahoma.

Oklahoma City Short Term Rental Laws

In Oklahoma City short-term rentals are referred to as home sharing. They define this as lodging accommodations provided in a dwelling or rooms in a dwelling rented by a host to a guest for a temporary period of up to 30 consecutive days.

The dwelling has to make up the host’s primary residence. If this is not the case, hosts need to get a special exception from the Board of Adjustment. For dwellings in Historic Preservation Districts, a special exception from the same board is also needed, even for primary residences. Applications for special exceptions are subject to a $300 fee.

The Oklahoma City definition of home sharing excludes bed-and-breakfast, hotel, and other similar facilities.

Submitting a home sharing application in Oklahoma City requires:

  • Property information
  • Host information
  • Local contact information
  • Number of bedrooms to be rented out
  • Links to online listings of the dwelling
  • Affidavit confirming the property complies with the City’s minimum property maintenance, building, electrical, mechanical, and plumbing codes and that it has working smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detector, and fire extinguisher
  • Property ownership documentation
  • Authorization from the property owner if different from the applicant
  • Proof of primary residence unless a special exception has been obtained
  • Documentation that home sharing was conducted prior to January 15th, 2019 if applicable

Home sharing licenses in Oklahoma City need to be renewed annually for a fee of $24.

Oklahoma City Airbnb hosts who rent out two or more bedrooms in a dwelling need to pay a 5.5% hotel tax. If you rent your property through the Airbnb platform, you don’t have to do this as Airbnb has an agreement to collect and remit tax directly to the City on behalf of hosts.

While Oklahoma City provides profitable opportunities for renting out vacation homes, there are additional requirements for properties that are not primary residences. You need to verify that you will get a special exception before investing in Airbnb Oklahoma City.

Tulsa Short Term Rental Laws

The City of Tulsa defines a short-term rental as a dwelling unit or part of it where temporary lodging is offered for compensation. Temporary lodging refers to less than 30 days. The maximum occupancy is restricted to 8 persons at a time and vacation rentals are permitted in all zoning districts.

There are two types of Tulsa short-term rentals:

  • Principal use: The dwelling unit is not the primary residence of a household.
  • Accessory use: The dwelling unit is the primary residence of a household. Here the maximum occupancy of 8 persons includes the dwelling residents if they are present.

To start a vacation rental business in Tulsa, you need a short-term rental license, which can be obtained online. Both owners and operators can apply.

Applying for a license requires:

  • Dwelling unit information
  • Operator information
  • Written consent by the owner
  • Local contact person information
  • Online listings
  • Written acknowledgement that the short-term rental is subject to all relevant City regulations and policies
  • Application fee of $75 and Implementation and Compliance fee of $300

Licenses expire on June 30th of each year, so owners or operators need to renew them annually, for a renewal fee of $75 plus an annual Implementation and Compliance fee of $300.

The operators of short-term rentals with five or more rooms in total including bedrooms, bathrooms, dining rooms, kitchens, etc. need to pay a 5% lodging tax. This tax needs to be collected and remitted monthly.

As non-owner occupied short-term rentals are allowed in Tulsa and face relatively limited regulations, this is an excellent market for this investment strategy.

Norman Short Term Rental Laws

The City of Norman defines a short-term rental as the rental of a permitted rental structure or portion of it for up to 30 consecutive days. While this rental strategy is legal, it faces specific zoning requirements.

Vacation rentals are allowed in all zoning districts except for Rural Commercial, Light Industrial, Heavy Industrial, and Restricted Industrial. While legal, planned unit development (PUD) and simple planned unit development (SPUD) require Council approval or special use. In the Center City Form Based Code (CCFBC) short term rentals are permitted on the upper story of Urban General, Urban Storefront, and Urban Residential Building Form Standards. They are allowed on the ground floor of these buildings too, with additional regulations.

Starting an Airbnb business in Norman requires a short-term rental license. A single applicant can be issued only four licenses at a time. Only one party of guests can stay at a vacation rental at any point in time. Commercial and social events are prohibited, and hosts and guests are prohibited from disturbing the residential nature of the neighborhood and the comfort of residents.

Applying for a Norman short-term rental license requires:

  • Owner information
  • Local contact information
  • Certification that the property is not violating City Code or state law
  • Proof of property insurance
  • Property layout diagram including on-site parking and a floor plan showing fire exits and escape routes
  • Operational egress windows in bedrooms
  • Operational smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and fire extinguisher
  • Compliance with the City’s minimum property maintenance, building, electrical, mechanical, and plumbing codes
  • Annual inspection
  • Notification of immediately adjacent property owners
  • Issuance fee of $150 and annual inspection fee of $50

Licenses are valid for one year, and the annual renewal fee is $150 besides an annual inspection fee of $50.

Airbnb hosts in Norman are expected to pay a 5% transient tax on a monthly basis.

Violations to the Norman short-term rental ordinance are subject to fees ranging from $50 to $750 or imprisonment of up to 60 days.

Overall, Norman offers excellent opportunities for investing in vacation rentals as non-owner occupied short-term rentals are legal. It’s an appropriate location for investors who’d like to build a portfolio of multiple properties as you can hold up to four licenses at the same time.

Broken Arrow Short Term Rental Laws

The City of Broken Arrow defines short-term rentals as stays of up to 30 days.

There are four distinct types of Broken Arrow short-term rentals:

  • Type 1 permitted in A-1, RE, RS-1, R1, RS-2, R-2, RS-3, R-3, and RS-4 Zoning Districts and Areas 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 in the Downtown Residential Overlay District. The owner needs to live on premise within the primary structure. They limit the number of guests to up to two individuals or one family. These can have only two guest bedrooms that need to be within the primary residential structure.
  • Type 2 permitted in A-1, RE, RS-1, R-1, RS-2, R-2, RS-3, R3, and RS-4 RD and RM Zoning Districts and in Areas 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 in the Downtown Residential Overlay District by specific use permit. They are also permitted in Area 6 in the Downtown Residential Overlay District. This short-term rental property type can host up to six individuals or two families. They limit the number of guest rooms to one room per 2,000 square feet of lot area, for a maximum of four rooms per property.
  • Type 3 permitted in NM, CM, DF, A-1, DM, CG, and CH Zoning Districts and in Area 5 in the Downtown Residential Overlay District by specific use permit. They are also permitted in Area 6 in the Downtown Residential Overlay District. Short-term rentals of this type can feature only eight sleeping rooms.
  • Type 4 permitted in Areas 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 in the Downtown Residential Overlay District by specific use permit. They are also permitted in Area 6 in the Downtown Residential Overlay District. A total of six individuals or two families can be hosted at a time. One guest room is allowed per 1,000 square feet of lot area, for a maximum of four guest rooms per property.

All types of vacation rentals face various restrictions related to the installation of individual cooking facilities and meal service and requirements about the availability of parking spaces.

Operating an Airbnb business of any type in Broken Arrow requires a permit.

To apply for a Broken Arrow short-term rental permit you need:

  • Business/property information
  • Application information
  • Notarized property owner authorization
  • Documentation showing valid tenancy
  • Documentation showing ownership and/or other legal interests in the premises
  • Annual fee

Permits are valid for one year, and renewals are subject to an annual renewal fee.

Broken Arrow Airbnb hosts need to pay a local hotel tax of 6%.

Running a non-owner occupied short-term rental is a possibility in Broken Arrow. However, because of zoning restrictions, you have to confirm that you will obtain a special use permit - if applicable - before investing in a vacation rental property in this Oklahoma market.

Broken Bow Short Term Rental Laws

The City of Broken Bow has not enacted its own short-term rental laws. Any statewide Oklahoma rules and regulations apply in this market as well.

Broken Bow Airbnb investors need to pay a 5% lodging tax on a monthly basis.

The lack of vacation rental regulations make the Broken Bow market an excellent location for investing in a non-owner occupied short-term rental.

Stillwater Short Term Rental Laws

The City of Stillwater defines a short-term rental as the rental of a dwelling, a part of it, or a habitable accessory structure for a temporary period of no more than 30 consecutive days per guest, within a 90-day period. According to Ordinance 3435, Airbnb rentals are allowed in three residential zoning districts including single family small lot residential (RSS), single family large lot residential (RSL), and two family residential (RT).

Operating a Stillwater vacation rental business requires a license, and only property owners can operate such rentals.

Applying for a Stillwater short-term rental license requires:

  • Property owner information
  • Property address
  • Number of bedrooms offered for rent
  • Verification of working smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detector, and fire extinguisher
  • Floor plan
  • Proof of property ownership
  • List of all property owners within 300 feet of the property
  • Application fee of $100

Licenses expire on January 31st of each year, and they need to be renewed annually for a fee of $10.

Stillwater Airbnb property owners need to collect and remit a 4% hotel tax.

Stillwater has not only some of the most relaxed Oklahoma short-term rental laws but also nationwide. This is one of the things that make it an excellent market to buy a vacation rental.

Takeaway

There are various factors that make Oklahoma a top Airbnb location. In the absence of statewide regulations, most cities have enabled their own legislation. Most Oklahoma cities allow non-owner occupied short-term rental properties which is important for full-time and remote real estate investors.

*If after reading this article, you need help, know that Awning offers full-service vacation rental management. This includes navigating the legal work and assuring compliance with local legislative requirements, for an industry-low fee of 15% of revenue.

Airbnb Property Management by Awning

Let us take care of your Airbnb property. We'll handle everything for your guests, your property, and for you the host, including all those services other property managers charge extra for.