There are over 250 short-term rental units in operation in Covington, Kentucky. Like it or not – whether you just began operating your first Airbnb property or you are a long-time Airbnb veteran, all hosts must now comply with new governmental regulations.

The new ordinance in Northern Kentucky joins the trend across the country. Many cities, including New York City, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and even Columbus and Cincinnati, Ohio, have very similar short-term rental regulations in effect.

What It Means

Under the new procedures, short-term rentals are defined as residential dwellings or part of those dwellings offered to tenants for a fee for rental periods of 29 days or less.

The rules require property owners or hosts to: (1) verify with the City’s Neighborhood Development Code (the zoning department) they are operating in a permitted zone and follow all parking requirements; and (2) obtain an occupational license from the Finance Department; and (3) obtain an annual City Short-Term Rental Dwelling License from the Neighborhood Services Department for each property.

The application and other helpful information will soon be available on the City’s website.

Before a license can be granted, Code Enforcement officers will be required to inspect the units to make sure they meet certain building code and fire safety requirements similar to the procedure in Cincinnati.

Until an inspection can be scheduled and completed during the initial application phase, applicants will be granted a three-month provisional license that can later be converted to a regular short-term rental dwelling license.


Whether you are a landlord, Airbnb host, or considering entering the profession, if you have any questions whatsoever, do not get caught in this web of regulations. Please feel free to reach out to us with any questions or concerns regarding the new short-term rental regulations in Northern Kentucky.

Andrew L. Smith is a partner in the Cincinnati, Ohio office of Rolfes Henry Co., LPA who concentrates his practice in the areas of construction law and general business litigation. Andrew represents a number of Airbnb owners and landlords. He is the creator of the AGC of Ohio construction law blog, Between the Law and a Hard Hart, and the co-host of