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Six steps for using your property as a short-term rental

Discover Green Bay has put together a six-step guide to advise those who are considering renting out their properties as a short-term rental. Kris Leonhardt photo

By Press Times staff

BROWN COUNTY – As Detroit passes the baton to Green Bay in advance of the 2025 NFL Draft, Brown County residents may be considering renting out their homes for the April 24-26, 2025, event.

Discover Green Bay has put together a six-step guide to advise those who are considering renting out their properties as a short-term rental.

Step 1: Review the Guidelines

Be sure to check out guidelines from the State of Wisconsin to set yourself up for success with your short-term rental.

Wisconsin Administrative Code ATCP 72 — available at https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/code/admin_code/atcp/055/72 — defines rules, policies and health regulations related to opening a property for short-term rentals, or Tourist Rooming House.

Step 2: Apply for a license and arrange for inspection

Before you can offer your property for short-term rental to visitors, you need to obtain a license. If you reside in Brown County, but outside of the city of De Pere, you will need to apply for a license through Brown County Public Health. City of De Pere residents do not apply for a license through Brown County and instead apply directly with the city of De Pere

Complete the Brown County application, available at www.browncountywi.gov/i/f/files/HHS-Public-Health.

Complete the city of DePere application, available at https://deperewi.seamlessdocs.com/f/PlanningZoningApplication.

The Brown County Public Health Division is the official licensing and inspection agent for Tourist Rooming Houses in Brown County other than the city of De Pere. After your application has been processed, you can expect a call or email from an inspector. The person will help you set up a date and time for the pre-licensing inspection. The inspection must be completed and passed for your application to be approved.

A checklist is available at www.browncountywi.gov/i/f/HHS-Public-Health, detailing some items covered in the pre-licensing inspection.

Applicants for Tourist Rooming Houses will incur a fee of $350, plus fees for the pre-inspection. If properties are listed without a license, property owners are subject to a forfeiture/citation fee of $250-2,500.

Brown County requirements regarding carbon monoxide detectors, egress windows and fire exits, dish sanitation and bunk beds can be found at www.browncountywi.gov/i/f/files/HHS-Public-Health.

The city of De Pere Health Department is the official licensing and inspection agent for Tourist Rooming Houses in the city of De Pere.  After your application has been processed by De Pere Development Services, you can expect a call or email from a health department inspector. Applicants for De Pere Tourist Rooming Houses will incur a fee of $229, plus fees for the pre-inspection.

If properties are listed without a license, property owners are subject to fines.

Step 3: Contact the state of Wisconsin for a seller’s permit

Next, you may need to obtain a seller’s permit from the Wisconsin Department of Revenue. A seller’s permit is required for every individual, partnership, corporation or other organization making retail sales, leases or rentals of tangible personal property or taxable services in Wisconsin unless all sales are exempt from sales or use tax.

In a 365-day calendar year, if you anticipate earning less than $2,000 from short-term rentals, no seller’s permit is required. If you might earn $2,000 or more, you must apply for a seller’s permit.

Visit the Wisconsin Department of Revenue’s page at www.revenue.wi.gov for seller’s permit information.

Step 4: Confirm local requirements

Contact your municipality — city, village, or town — to learn what local requirements your property location has for short-term rentals. In addition to the separate process for the city of De Pere, some other municipalities will require a short-term rental license, separate from the Brown County Health Department. Properties listed without following municipal approval may incur fines of up to $2,500 pending the municipality.

Not sure where to start? Check with the municipality in which you reside.

Step 5: Contact your homeowner’s insurance

It’s important, for the protection of yourself and your guests, to meet with your homeowner’s insurance agent to make sure your plan covers short and/or long-term rental situations. This coverage is not offered by all insurance companies so making sure you are covered before a loss occurs is important. Coverage options have many variables.

Step 6: List your property

The final step is to list your property on a third-party site where visitors can book their stay. Popular sites include airbnb.com, vrbo.com and booking.com. Note that booking.com only allows completely-private sites, meaning you cannot reside on the property while guests are staying there.

Before entering this step, make sure you have completed the prior steps.

For more information, visit www.greenbay.com/rent-your-home.

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