City Home > News

Attention Vacation Home Rentals - License Required for Operation

by Katelyn Zeits
Friday, February 15, 2019


Subject: Attention Vacation Home Rentals in the City of Traverse City – License Required for Operation  

Primary Contact: Benjamin Marentette, City Clerk,

Issued:             February 15, 2019

The City Commission has recently enacted an amendment to the Traverse City Code of Ordinances requiring all vacation home rentals in the City to obtain an annual license from the City Clerk, effective February 14, 2019. A Vacation Home Rental is defined as a dwelling in certain allowed districts which is rented for any term less than 30 consecutive days.

These types of rentals have not been regulated in the past, leading to potential safety concerns for those utilizing local properties as vacation rentals. With the enactment of these changes, the primary goals of the City are to ensure each vacation home is licensed, that proper fire escape plans and summary of noise regulations and the use of fireworks have been posted, and to maintain records of up-to-date inspections by the Traverse City Fire Department, helping to ensure the safety of those who visit Traverse City.

While these changes are effective February 14th, all Vacation Home Rentals must submit an application to the City Clerks’ Office, and obtain their first inspection from the Traverse City Fire Department in advance of July 1, 2019. Inspections will only be required every 3rd year, with self-inspection checklists to be completed with annual license renewals in the years between. When on-site inspections are required, the annual fee is $200. When self-inspections are required, the fee is $150.

Applications can be found at

For further ordinance details, review Chapter 870 which can be found here:

For questions, please reach out to the City Clerk’s Office at (231) 922-4480 or by email at