Registering your vacation rental property

Registering your vacation rental property
Posted on 09/07/2012

Cottonwood Heights is a unique city in the sense that it is located within minutes of Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons, which provide for great skiing, hiking, cycling and similar recreational pursuits. These activities not only improve the quality of life for our residents; they also bring in valuable tourism dollars which allow us to continue to improve the city’s infrastructure.

Because the city council recognizes the positive effects of inviting visitors to our city, it established a process for property owners in certain city zones to use their properties as vacation rentals or “short term rentals.” STR’s are properties located within R-2-8, RM (Residential Multi-family), MU (Mixed Use), NC (Neighborhood Commercial), and RO (Residential Office) zoning districts which are rented out for three to 30 days. Single-family residential homes may not be used as STR’s.

The process of registering a short term rental property requires property owners to obtain a valid business license and permit, as well as pay applicable fees and follow certain requirements listed in Chapters 5.85 and 19.89 in the city’s municipal code.  These regulations give property owners a legal way to rent out their properties and ensure a positive experience for visitors while mitigating possible negative effects for neighbors surrounding the vacation rental properties.

While many property owners choose to properly license their short term rentals and follow the city’s requirements, the city has become aware that there may be others promoting and renting out their properties without being in compliance with the city code. The penalty for operating an unlicensed short term rental property in the city is a misdemeanor citation for every day of non-compliance, with higher fees and possible further legal action to follow if the matter is left unresolved.

Cottonwood Heights is asking those who use their property as a short term rental to call Mike Johnson at 801-944-7060 to begin the process of registering their STR’s by Oct. 1. Otherwise, property owners who are found to be running an unlicensed short term rental property will be subject to all penalties associated with that violation of the municipal code. Information about short term rental regulations can be found at

Residents who are concerned about unlicensed STR’s in their neighborhood can email the city’s code enforcement officers at