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Short Term Rentals

What is a Short Term Rental?

The definition for a Short Term Rental typically means "the practice of renting out a furnished room, suite, home, apartment or dwelling unit for a short-term stay." These include transient lodging offered through Airbnb, Vrbo, and other similar online platforms. The City of Wichita Unified Zoning Code does not currently address this type of use.


With the advent of systems to offer and rent Short Term Rentals, Wichita has seen a significant increase in the number of Short Term Rentals operating in the City. According to information from Granicus, the number of unique Short Term Rental units in Wichita increased from 337 units in April of 2021 to 442 units in February of 2022. 

Current Wichita Policy and Regulations on Short Term Rentals

In the City of Wichita, Short Term Rentals are regulated by the Unified Zoning Code. The Unified Zoning Code does not specifically identify or define Short Term Rental as a land use. However, the Unified Zoning Code does include a number of definitions that regulate where and how long dwelling units can be leased in the City. Based on the Unified Zoning Code, there are generally three options for how a Short Term Rental can be legally operated in the City. Short Term Rentals are not permitted in the unincorporated Sedgwick County. 

Short Term Rentals in Other Communities

Planning Department staff reviewed 25 cities in Kansas and neighboring states to see if and how they regulate Short Term Rentals. This information can be used to help collect public input about the state of the practice, lessons learned and what some options are for Wichita. Cities evaluated included Lawrence, KS, Manhattan, KS, Springfield, MO, Oklahoma City, OK, Des Moines, IA and Albuquerque, NM.

Of the communities reviewed, 16 communities had regulations, while nine (9) communities surveyed either have no regulations or are reviewing their options at this time. The number of requirements placed on Short Term Rentals varied significantly by community. Below is a graphic that illustrates the number of requirements.

Short Term Rental Regulation Occurence

STR Enforcement

Monitoring and enforcement of Short Term Rentals is generally led and coordinated by the Planning Department, Zoning Enforcement Division

Reports or complaints may be submitted via email, by calling 316-268-4421 or online using the MABCD portalThe Zoning Enforcement Division generally operates 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, unless enforcement actions are specifically scheduled for a different time.

Depending on the severity and the timing of the issue, complaints/issues can also be made to the Wichita Police Department. The WPD can disperse individuals and issue citations as needed. Depending on the issue, other departments – including the Metropolitan Area Building and Construction Department or Wichita Fire Department could be contacted.