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Tips for Getting a Short-Term Rental Permit in New Orleans

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There’s no question New Orleans is the ‘it’ place to be. The Crescent City always has something going on – no matter the season. You can tuck into a jazz club, treat yourself to a flaming cocktail, and dance your worries away at Mardi Gras. And if you prefer something a little bit more chill, no worries! New Orleans has plenty of bucket-list-worthy activities that all members of the family can enjoy, making it a favorite destination for many adventurers.

With so much to do and see, it doesn’t come as a surprise that the number of yearly visitors to the Big Easy continues to grow. Since more tourists are hoping to get a little taste of the charming city, more accommodation is needed to meet their demands. This is good news for real estate investors. If you’ve ever thought about getting into the vacation rental business in New Orleans, this may be the time to do it!

But to legally operate a short-term rental in the city, you must first get a permit. How do you do this? In this article, we cover everything you need to know about acquiring a residential, or “non-commercial”, short-term rental permit in New Orleans.

Is There a Demand for Short Term Rentals in New Orleans?

What’s great about New Orleans is that it caters to all types of visitors with its broad spectrum of accommodations. The Big Easy welcomes nearly 20 million guests annually, and recently, there’s been a noticeable surge in the popularity of vacation rentals. This shift is largely due to hotels struggling to meet the growing demand and a changing sentiment among travelers toward vacation rentals.

Moreover, vacation rentals can offer several benefits that hotels can’t – more space, comfort, and better amenities.

Who Regulates Vacation Rentals in the City?

To obtain a permit to operate a short term rental, you’ll have to undergo a several-step application process overseen by New Orleans’ Short Term Rental Administration. As defined by them, a short-term rental refers to any property leased for a period shorter than thirty consecutive days.

Types of Short Term Rental Permits

As of now, there are two types of short-term rental permits: Non-Commercial STR (NSTR) and Commercial STR (CSTR). Which of the two you need depends on your property’s location and your status as an owner. For example, NSTR permits are most often used for vacation rentals with their owner or operator living on-site. For mixed-use properties, you should seek a CSTR permit.

Requirements for Obtaining a Permit

Not everybody can obtain a short-term rental permit in New Orleans. In 2023, the City Council introduced several regulations that impact the process of getting one. For example, now, only three short-term rentals are permitted per square block– one is chosen via quarterly lottery and two via a lengthy special exemption process.

Even if you lose the lottery, you will be eligible to proceed with the exemption process. This will require a neighborhood planning meeting, going before the City Planning Commission, and ultimately obtaining approval from the City Council.

Moreover, the updated regulations state that operators, whether owners or renters, must live on the property where the short term rental is located. Additionally, any complaints from neighbors or guests must be resolved within an hour, even though the specifics of what ‘resolve’ entails are not outlined.

Remember to Follow Updates

The rules we previously discussed have been recently introduced in New Orleans and have faced significant legal challenges. Consequently, a federal judge had put a temporary stop to the implementation of these new rules, though a late February 2024 verdict ruled in favor of the city.

While the plaintiffs have vowed to appeal, for now, the March 2023 regulations are in full effect. We don’t know whether the appeal will be successful in overturning the new regulations, but the City Council has vowed to eliminate NSTRs entirely if the court throws out their new rules—a move that the plaintiffs also allege is unconstitutional.

In any event, you are always advised to stay up-to-date with local short-term rental regulations to ensure you remain in compliance.

Get in Touch With a Professional

With so much uncertainty in the market, getting a permit can seem like a confusing process. That’s why it’s best to partner up with a professional who can assist you every step of the way. If you’re thinking about starting a vacation rental business, we suggest getting in touch with a realtor in New Orleans who can handle the practicalities in your place.

Once you’ve gotten a permit, you’ll face many different tasks and responsibilities. But operating a vacation rental shouldn’t add to your already busy to-do list. With the right team and vacation rental management company, you’ll know your property and guests are in safe hands while you can focus on other tasks.

At Jazzy Limousine & Shuttle, we’d love to take care of your visitors’ transport needs! Read more about our services here, and don’t forget to follow our blog for more New Orleans tips and guides.

FAQ

  1. What are the specific costs associated with obtaining a short-term rental permit in New Orleans?

The application process itself is $50. If you win the lottery or obtain your permit via the special exemption process, the NSTR permit is $500 – paid annually at renewal. The exemption process also requires a $500 fee to be paid to the city planning commission.

  1. How long does the application process for a short-term rental permit take, from submission to approval?

The application process for a short-term rental permit can vary in length, but it generally takes a few weeks if you win the lottery. The special exemption process can take up to four months.

  1. Are there any insurance requirements or recommendations for short-term rental operators in New Orleans?

The city mandates that owners carry a minimum of $500,000 of liability insurance to protect against injuries or damages that occur on the property.

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