A short-term vacation rental (also called a vacation rental or STR) is most often defined as a rental of a residential dwelling unit or accessory building for periods of less than 30 consecutive days. Vacation rentals have exploded in popularity. Otter Tail County has an estimated 300+ vacation rentals, predominately on lakes. Recently, the Minnesota Department of Revenue issued a memo directing all county assessors to reclassify property whose primary use is as a short-term rental to the commercial classification for the 2020 property assessment.

Recently, questionnaires were sent to the owners of short-term rentals that are currently licensed through Public Health. At the request of County Commissioners, county assessors plan to work with rental property owners to come into compliance with the State’s request.

Documents that may be used by county assessors include licensure from the Public Health department, booking records, and occupancy, income and expense records of the property. According to the MN Department of Revenue, short-term rental properties cannot be classified as residential or as an apartment. Residential non-homestead and apartment classifications require a property to be rented by a tenant for 30 consecutive days or more.

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